Authentic hand-rolled cigar maker opens shop

Julio Cordero tells the local St. Augustine news desk at Historic City News that he has been hand rolling cigars for over 20 years.

While working in the family tobacco harvesting business in Cuba, he learned the art of cigar rolling.

When he left Cuba 10 years ago, Cordero said, “My desire was to start my own business, hand roll cigars and raise my family in Florida.”

“JC the Cuban Roller” was started by Cordero in 2007. Cordero says it was his “dream come true.”

Shortly after he opened his store at 162 St. George Street, Cordero says a couple who had been observing his work, gave him an idea which he has incorporated into his business.

The couple told him that they found the activity of hand rolling cigars quite interesting. They were going to be married in three weeks and asked if he would attend their wedding and roll cigars for them and their guests.

Cordero says the first request has led to many more requests for weddings, retirement parties and other business functions.

“I arrive at your function and set up a table top along with assorted bundles of tobacco leaves and my “chaveta”; a basic cutting hand tool,” said Cordero. “I prepare the leaves and begin to put the outer leaf on the cigar while explaining the process to on-lookers.”

The premium blended tobacco leaves that Cordero uses are specially selected to produce a refined aroma and smooth taste. “The leaves are grown in Ecuador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic from Cuban seeds,” Cordero said. The consistency of the draw and the clean white ash make these cigars a favorite of cigar aficionados.

“Cigar parties can last from two to four hours,” Cordero said. “This can be a nice gift and remembrance for your family and friends; not only to observe the process but also to enjoy freshly rolled, handmade cigars.”

For more information about “JC the Cuban Roller” or to book Cordero for your own cigar show, call 904-823-1336 – 904-716-6400 or e-mail

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