The story of La Flor Dominicana cigars starts with one of tragedy, and ends with a birth of a boutique brand that keeps flourishing through the 21 century. Its founder, Litto Gomez, has been hailed as being one of the most innovative minds ever to grace the cigar world. Litto’s industrious ability to turn tragedy into triumph is a story worth noting and reflecting upon when smoking a La Flor Dominicana cigar.
Although being born in the Dominican Republic, Litto and his wife Ines lived in Miami where Litto worked his trade as a jeweler. One day he was robbed at gun point where he subsequently lost almost half a million dollars worth of jewels. After such a devastating blow, Litto decided to pack up and move back to his country where he purchased a 120 acre tobacco farm to grow tobacco for his own cigar smoking pleasure. From there Litto set out to learn everything he possibly could about the cigar business. But unlike some who chose to copy from newcomers, like himself, Litto chose to dig in and meticulously learn from the wisest in the business. This approach has earned him admiration and respect in the industry, and has given Litto the knowledge required to make an exceptionally special cigar.
La Flor Dominicana cigars were originally named Los Libertadores. When talking to Gomez, he will tell you how it took him 15 to 20 years of refining his cigar making process and how this long and diligent quest for perfection has brought the brand to where it is today. The name “La Flor” was inspired by the flower that grows on the tobacco plant when the growing process is complete and the plant is ready for production. And Litto takes his time with production. Process and control are meticulously detailed. Litto’s insistence on quality can be seen every step of the way from growth to smoke. Take the protocols in his fields for example. Each and every single one million of his tobacco plants are cleaned of suckers that grow between the leaves and stems 4 times a day prior to harvesting. The field workers also remove the flower from each plant after flowering to ensure that the leaves develop fully. Litto’s original focus was on binder and filler tobacco until 2002, when he purchased a 40 acre farm dedicated to growing Corojo and Sumatra Shade grown tobacco for wrappers.
La Flor Dominicana cigars have definitely benefited from Litto Gomez’ attention to detail, and because of the extra measures taken to insure quality, their production is limited. In fact, you cannot buy LFD in just any cigar shop. Gomez also has certain restrictions as to who can actually sell his product. He leans towards the traditional brick and mortar shops that are small enough to build strong relationships with their clientele. He is particular in the placement of his brand and how they are to be displayed, and it is not unusual to find him visiting his retailers on a regular basis. You would think after such limitations, this quest for excellence would drive up prices, but this is not the case with LFD. You do not have to spend a fortune on a La Flor Dominicana cigar like some boutique brands on the market; you just have to enjoy smoking hand-rolled perfection.