Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars
Gary started in the cigar industry as a part time sales associate at a local cigar store in 2002. It did not take long before Gary realized the potential and dedicated himself to growing and expanding the business. It was not long before part time became complete dedication to the industry.
As time went on, the business grew and Gary was invited by people in the industry to go on factory tours and he became fascinated with process, and a few years ago Gary decided to try his hand at blending. Gary said, “When I got very positive feedback on those initial blends from friends in the industry I began exploring as many factories as would have me, absorbing as much information as I could. When a dear friend in Esteli looked at me the following year and said “"You know your tobacco. You should make cigars."” I decided I would give it a go.”
When looking for a name, Gary chose Emilio which comes from a patriarch cigar smoker in the family of Gary’s shop owner. The first blend to be release was the Emilio Serie H Maduro.
With the first cigar then released, Gary began working with A.J. Fernandez on the next release, Emilio AF1. About working with A.J. Fernandez, Gary said that, “Working with A. J. Fernandez was an absolute pleasure, and although I was able to put together a pretty good concept blend his expertise allowed us to take the cigar to a much higher level. I am always amazed at how great masters of the art know intuitively which subtle changes will make such a world of difference.”
Gary knew he had a winner when after the AF1 was release, people were excited about the cigar and began sending them to friends across the country. Next came Grimalkin then AF2, each of which has seen great success for Emilio and Gary.
Gary is a person who knows what he wants but listens carefully to everybody when it comes to his passion of cigars. He is seeing a dream become reality and even though much work is involved, Gary is enjoying it to the fullest.
New blends from Emilio Cigars are now hitting shelves, Draig and La Musa to name some, and Emilio Cigars grows in the number of shops carrying them each week, in what is an endless march across the country. I asked Gary about the future of Emilio and his reply was, “My hope is that we can continue to build relationships with top quality manufacturers and bring to market new blends that will be fresh and offer good value to the consumer. I was once asked how big I thought we'd grow by a customer who loved our cigars. My answer was simple, we'll grow until we run out of ideas or it stops being fun, whichever comes first. I really love the camaraderie in the industry and the interaction with cigar enthusiasts and hope to always be able to keep myself involved at all levels in a very personal way.”
Gary is not by any means a hidden brand owner, as he is seen daily on Facebook and Twitter, where he lively takes part in a variety of conversations and is always available to the public.
Gary is one of the great people of the industry, with not only a fantastic cigar line but with a pure dedication to a dream and one of the nicest people you can meet.
Ask your local B&M for Emilio Cigars and enjoy.