I first learned about Felix Assouline Cigars in the middle of September when I saw a Facebook posting about a cigar called Havana Sunrise Reserve. I knew the Havana Sunrise brand was owned by Benny Gomez so I contacted Benny and inquired about this new name.
Benny in turn, put me in contact with Michel Malek, the Executive Vice President of Felix Assouline Cigars. It was through my conversations with Michel that I learned of Felix Assouline’s four new blends; EGO, Ringo, Something Special and Havana Sunrise Reserve.
Michel was kind enough to send samples of all four lines and I will be reviewing them all shortly.
A week ago today, I had an opportunity to take a drive down to the Miami area. One of my stops was to the Felix Assouline offices where I had the pleasure to meet Michel in person along with Benny Gomez and Michel’s Brother In-Law, Felix Assouline himself.
After a quick tour of the office space and humidor / storage space, we went into one of the offices for a smoke and some conversation.
Felix offered me an Ego “Perfect” which is a box pressed Perfecto cigar. As a matter of fact, almost all of the Felix Assouline brands are box pressed.
As I lit up the cigar, Felix began to explain his background in the tobacco industry. He opened a single retail store in the late 1990’s which expanded to three locations over the years. Along with the retail side, he also had an established wholesale business.
After successfully growing his retail and wholesale businesses, Felix decided to start up his own brand of cigars. So, in 2004, he started up a factory in Honduras and launched his new brand EGO.
Three years later, Felix wanted to devote his time to his family so, he decided to close his cigar business and stayed home with his family for 6 years.
Now, Felix and Michel have teamed up to create Felix Assouline Cigars and resurrect the EGO brand along with creating the three other lines I mentioned earlier.
Felix and Michel are very much hands-on. Not only did they hand pick all of the tobacco for their initial four lines, they also built their own box factory next door to their rolling facility in Nicaragua. In addition to making their own boxes, they have their own in house graphics designer to create the cigar bands and box designs.
I asked Felix how the Havana Sunrise Reserve brand came about. He explained how he and Benny Gomez have known each other for years and how much he has respected Benny’s contribution to the cigar industry. In the past, Felix had told Benny that if he ever got back into the cigar business, they definitely had to work together on a blend. The result is the new Havana Sunrise Reserve.
The company also owns tobacco fields in Honduras and is currently growing crops for a few new blends that are planned to debut next year.
For more information about Felix Assouline Cigars, click on the link for their homepage.