Exclusive Interview with La Flor's Litto Gomez
The past year has been exciting for fans of La Flor Dominicana. Between El Museo and the Salamones, Litto Gomez has released two of the most noteworthy cigars of 2009. While the rest of the industry has struggled with the effects of the recession, Gomez tells me that La Flor hasn't been hit (and that he is grateful for this fact). He cites the quality of his cigars and loyalty of his customers as reasons, but there's more to the story than that. There are plenty of great cigars on the market, and their smokers bring plenty of zeal to each purchase.
Beyond Litto's assessment, there are two reasons for La Flor's success this year: the new cigars and Litto himself.
This year hasn't been mind-blowing for new cigars. Doubtless, there have been some gems. The Avo Campanero certainly impresed, as Avo's annual limited edition cigar always does. And, Camacho has done a great job with the Room 101 and Connecticut sticks. The norm, however, has been silence, an obvious result in a tough economy. Litto made two bold moves with El Museo and the Salamon, bringing two expensive cigars to smokers at a time when they are less inclined to spend. Clearly, it worked.
Additionally, Litto has been pounding the pavement, interacting with the people who buy his product (which is why he was in New York, where I met with him). The cigar personalities that get out into the shops to meet with their consumers are gaining an edge in a tough market; going the extra mile makes a profound difference, especially when results are measured in inches.
And, he isn't finished.
Look for another new release in December, when he'll also be shipping another batch of the Salamones cigars.
[Main photo via Migrant Blogger]
Disclosure: I interviewed Litto Gomez at an event hosted by De La Concha. I attended the event as a guest of the shop. Nonetheless, I would have showed up to interview Gomez even if I was not hosted. Or, maybe I would have just bought a ticket. After all, I did purchase a ticket for someone else to attend the event.