The cigar industry origin story of Oscar Valladares, co-founder of Leaf by Oscar cigars, is a fascinating story of right place, right time. Around 15 years ago, Oscar lived in the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, and worked in the tourism industry. He would take care of details like booking hotels and finding cars for tourists to rent.
Then one day, a supervisor asked Oscar to pick some new arrivals up at the airport and shuttle them around for a handful of days. He had zero experience driving a bus, but his desk work was a drag, so he jumped at the opportunity. As fate would have it, one of the new arrivals was Rocky Patel, there to lead a group touring his factory. Rocky and Oscar hit it off, and these tours continued. Rocky eventually offered Oscar a job, and for close to a decade, Oscar was part of the Patel team.
The seed that started Leaf by Oscar cigars was planted as Oscar was on the road with his good friend Jim Robinson, aka Island Jim, owner of Leaf & Bean, a small cigar and coffee retail shop in Pittsburgh. Oscar expressed how he was tired of grinding for others and had dreams of opening his own factory. Island Jim told Oscar he wanted one of the first brands produced in his factory to be for his shop. And this is how Leaf by Oscar cigars came to be.
Island Jim wanted Leaf by Oscar to serve as the house cigar for Leaf & Bean, so he put in an order for 5,000 annually. Within one week of placing Leaf by Oscar cigars on the shelves, 1,000 sold. In one month, they sold the rest of the order. Soon retailer after retailer were contacting Leaf and Bean looking to purchase the cigars wholesale. The first dozen callers were told Leaf by Oscar was strictly sold as a house cigar, but Island Jim states that after the 11th call, he knew things had to change. Today Leaf by Oscar blends are sold in hundreds of retail shops in the United States and several other countries.
The first thing you notice when you eye a Leaf by Oscar stick is, well, the protective outer leaf, which is a raw natural tobacco leaf. Many smokers don’t know what to make of this and wonder if these sloppy-looking cigars are even smokable. Then they realize that this leaf isn’t part of the cigar at all but a substitute for cellophane. And while it may not be an official part of the blend, this leaf helps keep the cigar fresh.
One of the brand's more popular cigars is the Leaf by Oscar Connecticut, which uses a Honduran Connecticut wrapper and Honduran fillers and binder to serve up a creamy, mild to medium strength smoke with enough complexity to hold the interests of both short and long term enthusiasts. Another is the Leaf by Oscar Maduro, which is dressed in a Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper and delivers a well-balanced experience of the spicy and sweet.
Whatever your pleasure is, Leaf by Oscar cigars offers you a way to get that and more.
Please enjoy Leaf by Oscar cigars at your leisure.