MasterCard ranks this cigar brand as one of the top cigar manufacturers in the Dominican Republic. (source) Trip Adviser users ranked their cigars, rum, coffee and chocolate boutique as the #2 ‘Shopping Attraction’ in Punta Cana. (source)
They host over 12,000 tourists from around the world monthly for one of their coveted cigar factory tours. If you live in the United States or haven’t vacationed in Punta Cana, then it’s possible you never heard of them.
That last statement alone eliminates La Flor Dominicana and Arturo Fuente; the cigar company is called Don Lucas Cigars.
Started by Belgian national Philippe Gillet, who was once tourist of the Caribbean island himself, his brand is now one of the fastest growing cigar companies in the world.
After Gillet’s visit in 1990 to Punta Cana, he instantly formed a bond with the sun, beach and the people of the resort city. So much so, that on the simple whim of his passion for cigars and sun, in 1992 he hired two cigar rollers and blended his first cigar from exclusive tobacco grown by Leo Reyes.
Don Lucas Cigars was born.
Initially, his daily volume didn’t exceed 150 cigars; partly due to capacity and partly due to his commitment to quality. While times were good they rolled cigars and while times were bad they rolled cigars. Over the years, as more and more people enjoyed his blends, the more he persevered.
Today the Don Lucas Cigar factory employs 45 full-time rollers and produces many times over 150 cigars a day. They also produce award winning rum, coffee and chocolate all under the Don Lucas label.
Don Lucas Classic Cigars
During each factory tour, visitors are treated to the history, process and final products made by the factory. Upon completion of their tour, eager tourists are released into the Don Lucas shopping boutique and cigar lounge where cigars are paired and enjoyed with their tasty accouterments.
While Mr. Gillet was pivotal in launching the company and sustaining it during the trying times, it isn’t fair to mention Don Lucas Cigar’s success without discussing one of the most animated and diligent personalities on the team.
Carlos was the top cigar representative for Arturo Fuente in Dominican Republic for eight strong years before joining Don Lucas Cigars.
His natural charisma and deep cigar knowledge blended with an unmatched work ethic quickly earned him the trust of clients throughout the island. Unfortunately, things didn’t workout with Arturo Fuente, but it was for the better.
You could say he was the last piece of the puzzle for Mr. Gillet who had everything in place to take a dominant role in the Dominican Republic’s cigar elite.
Shortly after Vargas’ arrival, Don Lucas Cigars became what it is today; one of the most sought after tourist destinations for cigar aficionados and voyeurs of the cigar lifestyle alike.
If you leave it to Carlos who is now in charge of all U.S. operations, then within the next few years the rest of the world will be enjoying Don Lucas Cigars far and wide as much as those visiting Punta Cana.
It’s a Serious Cigar
While Don Lucas Cigars has the capacity to produce many more cigars than they already do, their goal isn’t to be the largest volume producer. They are intent on producing quality cigars first and foremost while maintaining the original passion for their craft.
This isn’t a souvenir cigar; it’s a quality daily smoke made from fine tobacco and rolled with expert care.
Today they produce 14 different vitolas in 5 different varieties. Each hand-rolled cigar is stored in their humidor and aged year round to ensure the highest quality, and premium smoking experience.
While many cigar manufacturers are holding out to see what the impact of the new FDA regulation will be, Don Lucas Cigars, much like Villiger Cigars are pushing forward with their North American expansion plans.
Both companies have the pockets deep enough to manage the fallout while sharing their brand of cigar excellence with us here in the states.
Local Love Fest June 11 at Concrete Cowboy
Currently there are 11 states which carry Don Lucas Cigars.
In Texas, 10 shops carry the Dominican cigar line including Serious Cigars, Stogies World Class Cigars, International House of Stogies, Cigar Emporium and Cigar Cigar, all in Houston.
Where to Smoke Don Lucas Cigars
If you are in Houston and would like to try Don Lucas Cigar’s for yourself, then join us on June 11th at Local Love Fest where you can buy and enjoy their full line up paired with your favorite craft beer and food truck munchies.
On June 23rd Cigar Cigar will be co-hosting an official Don Lucas Cigar event with Houston Cigar Life magazine where you can meet Carlos Vargas. More details on that event will be published here in the next few days.