Jopito Kelner: A Legacy of Influence in the Cigar Industry

Jopito Kelner, a prominent figure in the cigar industry, has left an indelible mark through his contributions and the legacy he has fostered. This article explores key moments and achievements in Jopito Kelner’s life, underscoring his influence and the respect he commands in the cigar world.

Early Influences and Major Contributions

Jopito Kelner is widely acknowledged for his significant role in influencing Zino Davidoff’s decision to relocate from Cuba to the Dominican Republic. His persuasive abilities extended beyond this singular event, as he influenced many large companies to make a similar move. Jopito’s impact was so profound that by the time his brother, Hendrick “Henke” Kelner Sr., founded Tabacos Dominicanos in the 1980s, Jopito already controlled half of the Dominican Republic’s entire tobacco crop. This control over such a substantial portion of the country’s tobacco production positioned him as a central figure in the industry​​.

Reputation and Personal Life

Jopito Kelner was known not just for his business acumen but also for his generosity and love of life. He had a reputation for helping others through his time, resources, and relationships. Those who knew him recall his love for making people happy, a trait that resonated deeply with both colleagues and friends. His son, Johannes Kelner, describes him as an extraordinary man with numerous talents and a passion for bringing joy to others. Jopito’s interests were diverse, including dancing, cooking, and cigars, each enriching his appreciation for the others​​.

Honoring Jopito Kelner: The ‘Jopito’ Cigar

In honor of Jopito Kelner, a special cigar project was initiated to commemorate his life and contributions. This project, spearheaded by his son Johannes, culminated in the creation of the ‘Jopito’ cigar. This cigar features tobacco grown on the same tracts of land and by the same families that Jopito and his brothers had worked with, ensuring a continuation of his legacy. The blend, carefully crafted by master blender Eladio Diaz, offers a complex and rich flavor profile, making it a fitting tribute to Jopito Kelner’s memory and a testament to the Kelner family’s longstanding tradition in tobacco cultivation​​.

Kelner Family’s Role in Davidoff Cigars

The Kelner family, including Jopito, played a pivotal role in the development of the iconic Davidoff cigars. Their expertise in tobacco cultivation and blending was instrumental in the success and acclaim of Davidoff cigars, a brand synonymous with luxury and quality in the cigar industry. The family’s collaboration with the Privada Cigar Club led to the limited-edition release of the ‘Jopito’ cigar, encapsulating the essence of the Kelner family’s heritage and Jopito’s personal touch​​​​.

Jopito’s Legacy Blend

The ‘Jopito’ cigar, a limited-edition release, is a blend of tobacco exclusively selected from Kelner family farms in the Dominican Republic. Wrapped in the exclusive and costly Meerapfel African Cameroon leaf, it offers a distinctive and luxurious smoking experience. The flavor profile of the ‘Jopito’ blend, with its notes of apricot, cedar, cinnamon, charred wood, floral berries, and hints of lemon, has been carefully crafted to reflect the legacy and expertise of the Kelner family, as well as the personal touch of Jopito Kelner himself​​.

Jopito Kelner’s life and work in the cigar industry embody a story of passion, innovation, and legacy. His influence extends far beyond the confines of tobacco fields and factories, touching the lives of those who knew him and continuing to inspire through the products that bear his name. His story is a testament to the enduring power of dedication, creativity, and the pursuit of excellence in the craft of cigar making.

If you are interested in trying the ‘Jopito’ Cigar for yourself you can find it on