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Avelino Lara and his legacy

Born in Havana on March 20, 1921, Lara worked in the cigar business all his life, he trained and mastered the art of a torcedore at a young age. Once Fidel Castro’s personal roller, Lara was famous for his creations at the El Laguito Factory outside of Havana, where he created blends for Cohiba and Davidoff, among others.

In 1996 Lara having retired from El Laguito, moved to Nassau to roll cigars at Graycliff Restaurant. His cigars were such a success, that Graycliff officially began the Graycliff Cigar Company to sell and market the cigars.

“With Avelino we had the idea of creating a cigar to sell in the restaurant to fuel my passion of finding the perfect cigar to complement our 5-star dining experience,” said Enrico Garzaroli, Chairman and founder of the Graycliff Cigar Company. “With him we created the award winning Graycliff Original blend, beating some of Avelino’s former Cuban cigar creations in blind tastings. He had a passion for his art that no one can replicate.”

Although Lara retired from the Graycliff Cigar Company a few years ago, and returned to his native Havana, he was still very much in touch with the Graycliff Cigar Company product line. He sampled the new cigar blends and suggested modifications.

“Avelino [who passed away in October 2009] will be sorely missed. Even though he was no longer present in the rolling room each day, the torcedores continue to refer to his passion, knowledge and his constant testing of their skills,” said Paolo Garzaroli, President and Co-Founder of the Graycliff Cigar Company. “I will personally miss his dedication to our company, his drive for perfection, and his many wisdoms which he shared with me.”

Lara’s passion is continued at the Graycliff Cigar Company through his son, Abel, and the other torcedores.