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Decades ago Senor Carlos _____ and his wife opened a quaint little tienda in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana community perched on the corner of 8th Street and 11th Avenue… Calle Ocho. As immigrants from Cuba, they planned to make cigars in the classic traditional manner as they’d been made for centuries in their homeland and as fate would have it this was a great time to embark on such a venture. After all, America was about to enter the biggest cigar boom that the country had ever experienced. This little tienda would soon be bustling with business and teeming with tourists. People would literally descend upon Calle Ocho by the busloads to soak up the experience of watching skill and artistry on display as newly immigrated torcedores from Cuba crafted exquisite cigars that would be the foundation for the boutique cigar movement of the future. However, this future would soon look somewhat uncertain. The boom had turned the simple pleasure of enjoying a cigar into a raging trend that attracted new consumers like locust and once the trend had died the landscape of the cigar industry was very different. The years that followed would be marked by a significant down turn in customers and one by one many of the storefronts that brought the beauty and artistry of cigar making to Little Havana decided that it would be easier and more profitable to make their cigars outside of the US. Many others simply closed their doors. Senor Carlos and his family would remain. As he grew older his daughter Sandy would pick up the mantle. Sandy, along with her husband Jose and not long after, their son-in-law Willy Herrera, would push forward through an industry that had been turned upside down. Not wavering in their commitment to quality or being swayed by flighty trends they did only what they knew how to do… continue making quality cigars. They would use only certified Level-9 rollers from Cuba that roll in the traditional entubado method and they roll them alone. There are no pairs at the table and each individual roller only produces roughly 100 cigars per day. It’s absolutely about quality versus quantity. This is how they helped to keep the lights burning on Calle Ocho. As the industry found its footing again a solid appreciation grew for true artisan products made with a true commitment to quality. This appreciation is what lead cigar lovers to look for something new, something we commonly refer to as boutique. Yet, this is what El Titan de Bronze has always been. Still using only Level-9 Master Rollers, and still choosing quality over quantity, El Titan de Bronze is quintessential boutique.
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