Elaine Sweigart – Cigar Roller
In the spring of 2014, Jorge’s wife, Ingrid, who learned to roll cigars in the factories in Havana, Cuba (like Jorge), taught Elaine how to roll cigars. Sessions followed with Jorge and by 2016, she was rolling cigars for VIP Guests at Sea Island, Nemacolin Woodlands, East Lake Golf Club and many others.
Our Cuban Cigar Maker, Jorge, makes all the bunches (interior part of the cigars), & sends them to Elaine wrapped in temporary paper. At the show, she discards the paper and rolls the cigar with the outside wrapper (tobacco) in the Cuban tradition that Ingrid & Jorge taught her. The cigars are exquisite and totally enjoyed by aficionados and novices alike.
Elaine’s foray into cigars came in 1991 when she was hired by General Cigar (GC) to be the GA & AL Territory Sales Rep for their mass market brands: Garcia y Vega, White Owl, William Penn, etc. In 1993, she was promoted to Premium Cigar Rep selling Macanudo, Partagas, Ramon Allones, Cohiba, etc. to cigar shops in GA, AL, TN, NC & SC. She worked with giants in the industry including: Mr. Edgar Cullman, Sr., Benji Menendez and others.
Before leaving GC in 1999, she was their Sales Trainer & Asst. Regional Manager for a 22 state territory.
1999-2002 she was National Sales Manager, Millennium Cigars – made by La Aurora & Davidoff for PLPCC.
2003 – present – President, Private Label Premium Cigar Co. (PLPCC)
Elaine has served as a Cigartainer for several high profile events throughout the country before turning her talents to cigar rolling in 2014.
Elaine’s degree from National Louis University is in Applied Behavioral Science. She is well versed in business philosophy and is an expert in customer service.
Jorge Doctsch – Maestro Level Cigar Maker
Jorge was born & raised in Havana, Cuba in 1976. After his parents divorced, he lived mostly with his paternal grandmother. He was always a hustler when it came to finding odd jobs to make a peso or two.
In 1987, his paternal great grandmother, Natividad, started making cigars in the home from black market tobacco. She taught Jorge and he quickly was selling cigars beyond his neighborhood.
Seven years later when he arrived at the H. Upmann factory, he was already very accomplished. So much so that the senior rollers were amazed when he was able to complete the apprenticeship test in one month. He wanted to learn additional skills from the best cigar makers. But he knew that the real money was in the black market.
When he worked in the factories, he made $7.00 per month. Yes, per month. On the streets of Havana, he was making $15 or $20 per DAY. When the police cracked down on the streets, he went back to the factory. He did this until he had to serve two years in the Cuban army. After a short time off, he was back in the cigar biz.
He escaped from Cuba in 1999. Joe & Elaine met him in April 2001. He had started his business by purchasing tobacco from the warehouses in Miami and by 2009; the quality of his tobacco was such that he replaced Davidoff and the sole source of supply of Joe’s private label premium cigars.
But it’s not only good tobacco that makes a great cigar. It’s also how it’s put together. There are several methods of bunching the interior tobaccos. Maestro’s like Jorge use the most complex & time consuming method called, entabado or mini tubes.
That technique provides the best draw and the cigars never taste ashy. Many cigar aficionados across the country have called our proprietary blend, the best cigar they have ever smoked.
Jorge also provides all the tripas (bunches) for Elaine’s shows so our cigars are consistent. Of course, she also gets the capas (wrapper) from Jorge’s factory.
More information about Jorge can be found in Joe’s book, “Long Ashes, Baby.”
Ingrid Doctsch – Cuban Cigar Roller
Ingrid was born in Havana, Cuba. Her dream as a little girl was to be a veterinarian. She loved the animals on their small farm outside Havana city. Her high school concentration was in veterinary medicine. But after four years of study, she was scheduled to go to work on a government farm 500 miles away from her home (mandatory work requirement of all adolescent Cuban youth).
Ingrid refused to go. Her father tried in vain to make a ‘under-the-table’ payment to a local official. The government refused her diploma in Veterinary. Her father then arranged with a friend to have her learn cigar rolling. She went to work in the La Corona cigar factory as an apprentice.
Shortly after her apprenticeship, a family tragedy claimed her brother. The family (mother & sister) was devastated. They applied for the lottery and won. They left for the USA (father stayed in Cuba). She spoke no English and was only 20 years old when they arrived in Miami.
Ingrid was determined to find work and did so in a cigar factory in Hialeah, FL (part of Miami). She worked there for three years and became their best cigar roller.
She met Jorge in 2002. They married in 2005. She has done many Cigartainment® events with us throughout the country. Once we sent her alone to St. Kitts for a client. She is fantastic.
She now works for the local school district and helps Jorge when she can.
While Ingrid is on hiatus from cigar rolling, she was, is and always will be a part of our family.