Interview: Christian Eiroa: President, Camacho Cigars
by David "Doc" Diaz
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Stogie Fresh is pleased to bring you the first in what hopes to be a long line of interviews with top cigar makers and manufacturers. For our premiere interview, we tracked down the president of Camacho Cigars, Christian Eiroa, and he generously agreed to take time from his busy schedule to respond to questions posed by Dr. Stogie Fresh.
At 33 years of age, Christian Eiroa represents the new breed of cigar manufacturer: straight talking, out-of-the-box thinker, trendsetter and risk-taker. He has led his company through a reorganization and change from Caribe Imported Cigars to the Camacho Cigar Company. He has put a new face on the website, which includes a wealth of information about their company and products, a movie short titled: Camacho: The Movie, a web store and a cigar forum, where Christian can often be found sharing ideas and trading quips with Camacho fans.
Eiroa, whose family owns and operates a tobacco farm in Jamastran Valley, Honduras and a cigar factory (Tabacos Rancho Jamastran) in Danlí, has taken the Camacho Cigar Company to new heights. Besides manufacturing over 14 million cigars per year under nearly 20 different cigar names, they continue to respond to consumer demands by creating new premium cigar lines, most recently the El Legend-Ario Authentic Corojo and the Camacho Select. Born in the Honduras and now leading company sales and marketing in Miami, Florida, Christian took some time to tell the Doc and you, our Stogie Fresh readers, what’s been happening at Camp Camacho.
DOC: As you were growing up, when did you decide you wanted to be in the cigar business and can you tell us what paths led you into the business?
CHRISTIAN: I think about this often, as a matter of fact. It must have been the environment I grew up in. Tobacco and tobacco people were my surroundings. Although I went to school to study medicine, I always new I would end up in this business. Once it’s in your blood…
Keep in mind that without my knowing, I was an expert by the time I was 7 (LOL)! My first job was at 6 where I would have to work in the tobacco fermentation room. At that same age I learned how to drive Suzuki jeeps so that I could transport the tobacco wagons in the farms. To me it was all a game, something to keep me busy.
I started working in the business on Thursday June 28th, 1995. I thought that by December I would have been back in the U.S. pursuing a career in investment banking. It turned out that during that time, the industry began to go through the “Cigar Boom”. I saw myself becoming an important part of the growth for our company.
My function became buying tobacco and blending the cigars to supply the demand. They were crazy times but I would willingly re-live them again.
DOC: What is the mission of the Camacho Cigar Company? Can you tell us a bit about your own business philosophy?
CHRISTIAN: Lew Rothman once said something to me: “How many steaks can you eat a day?” What he meant is that once your business reaches a certain level, it’s no longer about the money. That’s the position we’re in now.
There is a certain pleasure to spot people smoking a Camacho cigar. This became clear to me when I got an e–mail from a good friend who spotted a Camacho Corojo cigar butt in Prague. Can you imagine, Prague? This is what drives me everyday. That is the satisfaction I look for.
The philosophy is not as simple as it used to be. It used to be about building a solid company. Once this was achieved, it’s now about trying to develop a cigar that develops into what my father and/or I have in our imagination. It sounds very strange.
As a matter of fact, the Camacho Corojo was a result of what I had in mind. Just the same way that the Camacho Select is my father’s creation (I happen to like it very much myself). Just like I am working on a new cigar called “Ramones”. This will be a project in which I will dedicate all of my time to until the cigar is exactly what I have in my imagination.
DOC: Since taking over as president of the company, what have been your proudest accomplishments?
CHRISTIAN: That’s the easiest question: Camacho Corojo and more specifically, the Diploma.
DOC: What new products are you most excited about?
CHRISTIAN: My father’s creation, the Camacho Select is very special because I have not seen my father this excited about a product in a very long time. The 2006 Camacho Liberty and the 2004 Corojo Harvest in the Camacho Corojo. These last two will be available soon.
The Ramones is of special interest to me. This cigar does not have a launch date, though.
DOC: What does the future hold for Christian Eiroa and Camacho Cigars?
CHRISTIAN: You always hear and read about how cigar making is an art. Just like a painting or music, creations vary according to the creator’s mood, age and maturity. Although I am only 33 (34 in 07/05), I notice that I have developed a more mature taste.
Many of the new creations will reflect this maturity. The newest Liberty (due out in June) and the Ramones (still being created) will be an expression of this.
Be sure to visit the Camacho Cigars website: Go to “http://www.camachocigars.com”
About the Author
David "Doc" Diaz is the publisher and the editor of the Stogie Fresh Cigar Publications. He has served as an educator, researcher and writer and has taught in the Health Education and Health Science field for over 30 years. He possesses an earned doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. Doc is a Certified Master Tobacconist (CMT), having received this certification from the Tobacconist University and is a member and Ambassador of Cigar Rights of America (CRA).blog comments powered by Disqus