Drew Estate announced today that Willy Herrera will become the “Master Blender” of Drew Estate, effective immediately. Herrera was originally recruited by Drew Estate to create a signature brand illustrating his Cuban heritage and “Cubanesque” blending style. After working with him over the past three years in Nicaragua, Drew Estate determined he was suited to lead their blending team. This represents a major change for Drew Estate, marking the first occasion where someone of Cuban descent has held a top-level position at the company.
Herrera’s new responsibilities will place him at the front and center of Drew Estate’s blending team, which will allow him to channel his passion and energy into creating new blends and maintaining Drew Estate’s current signature blends.
Herrera’s talents were honed over the eight years of “on-the-job training”, running the El Titan de Bronze factory in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida. His responsibilities at El Titan de Bronze included tobacco purchasing, production, blending and quality control.
Jonathan Drew, company co-founder, had this to say about Herrera:
“Authenticity is the key factor that originally attracted the DE shareholders to Willy. I personally know the challenges and skill set necessary to lead a premium cigar factory at all stages of development, fifteen employees to fifteen hundred. Willy has the main ingredients, passion, humility and confidence to achieve great results. It is important for me to clarify that Willy is not in charge of running La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. His position is a newly created, specific role – built around his greatest talent, Master Blender.
We intend to challenge Willy in expanding his blending universe, from Liga Privada to Kentucky Fire Cured. This will not be easy for him. Willy will report directly to me, and I am not an easy person to work for. I am very demanding and require absolute excellence when it comes to creativity.”
Willy Herrera stated that, “my passion and love for Nicaragua has grown immensely over the past three years. I lived in Nicaragua while we blended our Herrera Esteli line and, during that time, really got to know the people at the factory. I grew to love the country, especially Estelí. This is an incredible
opportunity, and it’s a dream come true for me to become “Master Blender” of a global company as well respected as Drew Estate. There are many people who have believed in me along this journey, especially my family.”
Due to Drew Estate’s decision to appoint Herrera as “Master Blender”, they have also decided to bring the new “NORTENO by Willy Herrera” line into production at Drew Estate, as opposed to Joya de Nicaragua, where it was originally to be produced. Additionally, this will allow Joya de Nicaragua to focus on production of the MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured line, which is currently backordered, along with the new Joya de Nicaragua products to be released at IPCPR.
The “NORTENO by Willy Herrera” line will debut at the 2014 IPCPR tradeshow in Las Vegas, Nevada, and a formal press release will follow with more information about that project.
About Drew Estate:
Founded in New York City in 1996. Drew Estate has become one of the fastest growing tobacco companies in the world. Under their mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars”TM, Drew Estate has led The “Boutique Craft” movement by innovating new elements to the tobacco industry with their unique tobaccos and blending styles that have attracted new and old cigar enthusiasts. In their Gran Fabrica
Drew Estate, the Nicaraguan headquarters, Drew Estate produces successful brands such as ACID, Herrera Estelí, Java by Drew Estate, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, MUWAT, Natural, Nica Rustica, Tabak Especial and UnderCrown.