Kelner Cigars, S.A.S. – founded by Klaas Kelner – has officially opened for business. Announced today, the new endeavor is located in the Víctor Manuel Espaillat Mera Industrial Park, established to foster economic development 50 years ago nearly to the day on April 21, 1974. The Kelner Family tobacco legacy dates even further back than the amazing journey of Klaas’ father, tobacco legend Hendrik “Henke” Kelner Sr. In the 1920s, Henke’s father Klaas Pieter Kelner Sr. left the Netherlands and began working with raw leaf in Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Named after his Grandfather, Klaas will serve as the Head of Operations for his new company.
Kelner explains that “it is with great excitement that we bring this new project to life. I was born and raised in the industry, surrounded by tobacco experts, retailers, and cigar aficionados; and it is through their teachings that I came to love every facet of cigar making. It has always been a dream to blend beautiful cigars bearing the Kelner name for my family and friends, and now I get to do just that with some of the best tobaccos in the world.”
Each of the skilled artisans responsible for rolling at the new craft operation is hand-picked not only for their abilities, but also for their potential. It isn’t uncommon, when a new factory is announced, to only hear how many rollers there will be, if you’re told anything about the rollers at all. At Kelner Cigars, the personal growth of each torcedor is being made as much of a priority of as their professional growth. Klaas isn’t in any hurry to start churning out his own lines. “It is my vision to grow organically, creating a close-knit team that believes in the Kelner Family’s passion and commitment to quality control. Maintaining a process where I can personally inspect the tobacco that we use, sort, and roll into well balanced blends,” he describes. “I invite you all to enjoy our cigars made with our signature family craftmanship.”
Standing on the shoulders of giants, Klaas expresses that “I would like to thank everyone that has helped us in this new adventure. Our suppliers, for allowing me to examine and taste each tobacco. Our clients, for believing in our blends and starting this journey together. And my family and friends for all the emotional support and love. Without you, this wouldn’t be possible!”