Stogie Geeks #340

Date: September 18, 2020

Show Overview:

This week Drew, Nelson, and Joe interview Tim Wong of A.J. Fernandez Cigars and Owner of Pier 28 Cigars. In the second segment, we catch up with George Rico of Gran Habano. Cigar Updates, Cigar News, a 20-cigar sampler for just $69.99 with FREE SHIPPING with a Stogie Geeks Exclusive Deal, and stuff you might need to know!

Interview: Tim Wong, Pier 28 & A.J. Fernandez Cigars

Tim Wong is the sales representative for Espinosa Premium Cigars and A.J. Fernández, and has previously worked for General Cigar Co., Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, Toraño and others. Tim had formulated the idea for Pier 28 about 15 years ago, it wasn’t until he went to work for Espinosa that the cigars became a reality in 2016.

Interview: George Rico, Gran Habano

The Rico family history in tobacco stretches back to 1920, when Guillermo Rico’s grandfather began growing dark tobacco. His father succeeded him in 1946, and Guillermo recalls following him around the fields as a child and his mother rolling cigars at home. That legacy continues today in Gran Habano with a strong sense of family tradition embedded into every cigar made in Danlí, Honduras, where in 1998 the factory was established and became the birthplace of our premium cigars and the quintessential Gran Habano look.
In 2003, was the year our staple Gran Habano family of handmade cigars was introduced to resounding success by father and son team, Guillermo and George Rico. These long-filler cigars became the core of the company brand with 3 distinct blends: the Connecticut #1, a mild but rich cigar with a Connecticut shade wrapper; the Habano #3, a medium-bodied cigar in Habano wrapper; and our most beloved blend, the Corojo #5, a peppery full-bodied cigar in Corojo wrapper. Consistency has always been insisted with these expert blends, which continue to be our best selling cigars.
The legacy of making cigars at Gran Habano continues to be a family affair. Established in Miami, Florida, Guillermo and George Rico, strive for quality in every leaf and cigar in production.

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Joe Hozempa | Host of Stogie Geeks

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Everyone knows Joe Hozempa. The “Italian Stallion” of the Rhode Island cigar culture. Joe isn’t afraid to give a cigar an average review. He knows what he likes and isn’t afraid to say it.


Andrew “The Band Man” Galvan | Co-Host

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Andrew Galvan works in the Insurance Industry (Property Loss Adjuster). Andrew’s love for the cigar has been cultivated over the years and he made a goal to learn about the cigar business from seed to consumer. Thus, he has endeavored into the cigar business with Prestige Cigar and Tobacco in Bedford Texas aside his dual career.

“The Band Man”- Every time I smoke a cigar, I have a ritual. Going in I look at the cigar, the construction, color, smell the foot, taste the cap, I gently caress it in my fingers. Then I cut it, most time it will be a Deep ‘V’. I then look at the band, I read it, I study the artwork and fonts of any symbols or numbers, I imagine the person rolling this cigar and then putting the finishing touch of the band… I collect the bands and keep them as gifts of appreciation from the Tobacco growers, and procurers of said cigar. I become one with this cigar, I toast it, I wait patiently for the filler, binder, wrapper to ignite, the first hint of aromas fly through the air like an Aaron Judge Home Run…. Beautiful.
“Impeccable customer relations yields the greatest customer experience”-AG

Nelson DeMelo | Co-Host

Digital Banking , family guy with a love of the leaf. Covid quarantine has kicked up the Stogie Geek in me during 2020. I’ve been enjoying the “beyond the smoke” stories with each cigar, the industry and fellow Stogie Geeks.

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