Episode 45

My First Cigar—Why it Shouldn’t Be a Connecticut feat. Blackbird’s Jonas Santana

Shop for that first cigar with confidence. Cigar smoking friend or tobacconist suggesting a Connecticut wrapper? Learn what to ask for instead from Blackbird Cigar Company’s Jonas Santana. This rapper turned cigar maker joined Boveda’s Rob Gagner cigar podcast at 2021 Tobacco Plus Expo in Las Vegas.

Find out why a Blackbird is the hot new cigar you gotta try. This new boutique cigar brand is the next wave of cigars born from those not born into a cigar empire. 

A cigar talk where you’ll learn:

  • What’s with these cigars named after birds in brightly colored cigar boxes (Crow, Finch, Cuco, etc.)
  • How to smoke Blackbird cigars in the right order (Perfect advice for a three-cigar-a-day smoker looking for progressive blends.) 
  • What famous cigar smoker to share a cigar with.
  • How to sharpen your skills beyond college, smart from someone who designed Can’t Clip My Wings cigar swag.

Jonas protects Blackbird Cigars with Boveda to preserve the sugars and oils of his boutique cigars. You can protect your cigars just like cigars makers, too. Preserve your passion with Boveda, makers of 2-way humidity control for cigars, easy seasoning for wood humidors, humidor bags and one-step hygrometer calibration kits.

Transcript
Rob Gagner (RG):

There's a story inside every smoke shop with

Rob Gagner (RG):

every cigar and with every person.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Come be a part of the cigar lifestyle at Boveda.

Rob Gagner (RG):

This is Box Press.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Hey, everyone.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Rob Gagner here.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Welcome to another episode of box press.

Rob Gagner (RG):

We are at TPE 21 and I am sitting across from Jonas Santana.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Now, if you don't know that name, he's not a famous guitar player, but

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

...he is a famous cigar maker.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Famous.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Only in the last two years, has he launched his company and we're

Rob Gagner (RG):

already seeing it everywhere on Instagram, in stores, everywhere.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And it's hard to miss because he uses color.

Rob Gagner (RG):

He uses unique marketing tactics to catch your eye.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And we're gonna learn all about this and the brand behind it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Jonas, thank you so much for being here with Blackbird Cigar Company.

Jonas Santana (JS):

My pleasure, man.

Jonas Santana (JS):

How are you?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Rob?

Rob Gagner (RG):

I'm doing great.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

You look like it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Couldn't be happier.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I'm actually smoking your

Jonas Santana (JS):

The JackDaw?

Rob Gagner (RG):

This is the JackDaw?

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

That's the European Crow.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

That's why it's my Connecticut cigar.

Rob Gagner (RG):

The Jack Dow?

Jonas Santana (JS):

JackDaw.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Daw.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's, it's actually my longest name.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And even though it's the longest name.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's only two syllables that's like

Rob Gagner (RG):

Jack.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It has to be that way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Always in my core line, No name in the core line

Rob Gagner (RG):

Two syllable-

Jonas Santana (JS):

...can be more than two syllables.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Unkind.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Rook.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Crow.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I'm getting it now.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's really helpful.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And I still can't do it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

JackDaw.

Jonas Santana (JS):

JackDaw.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's the longest and it's- and it's related to birds—crows,

Jonas Santana (JS):

because it's family of the crow.

Rob Gagner (RG):

In all of your interviews.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Rob Gagner (RG):

...It was interesting to find out that your research into birds

Rob Gagner (RG):

led you to what is the smartest bird?

Rob Gagner (RG):

And that's the crow.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That actually is the crow.

Rob Gagner (RG):

How is that even possible?

Rob Gagner (RG):

You look like, I look at a crow and I go probably not the smartest bird,

Rob Gagner (RG):

probably not just a big black bird, you know, you think of it kind of as a

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's ugly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...scavenger or some sort of a,

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...but it's actually the smartest bird.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That is correct.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And it's because of the way they flock together?

Jonas Santana (JS):

They flock together?

Jonas Santana (JS):

About in which means right now?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Like as a unit, like they, they kind

Rob Gagner (RG):

of are interconnected, right?

Rob Gagner (RG):

The crow is interconnected with each other, like as a flock?

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's not just because of that, you put, you put

Jonas Santana (JS):

a a crow in a cage, and you start putting food, he in there and make

Jonas Santana (JS):

them to- uh, moves that they need to make moves to take the food out.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They make it happen by itself.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They are really...

Rob Gagner (RG):

They're like a squirrel where like, if you put

Rob Gagner (RG):

food somewhere, the squirrel is gonna figure out how to get it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

He figured out a lot of things.

Jonas Santana (JS):

He can even talk sometimes.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's kind of a scary, funky thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

Tal- talking crows.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I don't know.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's- yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's they are very smart.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So the thing is when you do branding, most of the time people

Jonas Santana (JS):

go like from the inside to outside.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I like from outside to keep it outside, because I believe that the majority of the

Jonas Santana (JS):

people already know how a cigar is made.

Jonas Santana (JS):

There's gonna be newbies.

Jonas Santana (JS):

We're gonna have new people, but when we go branding, we need to

Jonas Santana (JS):

go already different than the rest that have years in the business.

Jonas Santana (JS):

With that have a lot of respect, but they took the traditional route because back

Jonas Santana (JS):

then was the good momentum to do that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But they already have their corner.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I needed to come something very new, fresh simplistic.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So when we- I was researching, with my brother and my graphic designer about

Jonas Santana (JS):

how we really gonna penetrate the U.S.

Jonas Santana (JS):

market, because I already know I was gonna have a good cigar, not

Jonas Santana (JS):

because of all the wisdom that I have.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's because of my master blender.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That is my mentor.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I already know about that, but I say there's a lot of good cigars out there.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Anyways, nobody's telling me, Jonas, we need a brand because

Jonas Santana (JS):

nobody actually was asking, like...

Jonas Santana (JS):

. Let's say Trump, didn't call me to tell me, Jonas, you need to move to USA.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I decided to come here.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I decided to also launch a brand.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So in order to really pop, I really nee- I really

Jonas Santana (JS):

needed to connect a lot of things.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So the symbol of USA is very easy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's actually the eagle, but it's the smartest.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The- it's the strongest...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So-

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You said that in those interviews, it was like you were emu- emulating the eagle

Rob Gagner (RG):

to bring it down so it was relatable.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So you have the strongest.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So who, which one is the smartest?

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's actually the crow.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

you gotta be smart in how you get into the industry.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So things that I thought with my brother—how we gonna pop?

Jonas Santana (JS):

How we gonna let the people know that we are there without...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah, you you got bright colors.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You got orange, royal blue...

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...the purple, the red.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's strategic.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You want people to notice your cigars...

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...and more importantly, inside the cigar box

Rob Gagner (RG):

its strength is labeled there...

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...already.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You even have on your bands, you have a little bit of

Rob Gagner (RG):

the band being left off so that you can peel it off easy and save it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You have the bird.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And you even have the wrapper on the band so that I

Rob Gagner (RG):

know, Hey, I really like this cigar.

Rob Gagner (RG):

With some of the bands, when you go in a smoke shop and you say,

Rob Gagner (RG):

Hey, I really like this cigar.

Rob Gagner (RG):

They go, I don't know which, which cigar of that company you

Rob Gagner (RG):

smoked because it doesn't tell you

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But yours does.

Rob Gagner (RG):

It says JackDaw, Connecticut.

Jonas Santana (JS):

There you go.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Or whatever it is.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Unkind, Cubra.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's for sure.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So it always says it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The thing is we live by that, but by this that I'm gonna

Jonas Santana (JS):

say—people get caught by the eye.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They return by the experience, that's the blend.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They stay by the bite.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's say I can have wonderful cigars, but if you don't like me,

Jonas Santana (JS):

you kind of don't wanna support me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And this industry is a very face-to-face business.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And the word support is very important for everybody in the business.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So that really by those three t- three

Jonas Santana (JS):

things to really make it happen.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I love it because once you walk into the humidor,

Rob Gagner (RG):

you can very, very well see it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But before we get into walking into humidors, you walk into

Rob Gagner (RG):

recording studios very often 'because you are a rapper as well.

Jonas Santana (JS):

How you know that?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Because I talk to you.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

And it said in a couple of videos, in a couple

Rob Gagner (RG):

interviews that you like to rap.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So my question is what was the first rap album that you bought

Rob Gagner (RG):

that you listened front to back and was just like, this is amazing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I love the Tupac album,

Rob Gagner (RG):

Which one?

Jonas Santana (JS):

The Amerikaz.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Americas?

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's- 2 of, 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted?

Jonas Santana (JS):

What that song was?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Ah-

Jonas Santana (JS):

That album, it's a long time ago.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That was why...

Rob Gagner (RG):

...but that was the one you would pop in the CD player and listen.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Just go the whole

Rob Gagner (RG):

thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

This is the thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I love.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I love lyrics, but for me, between Biggie and Pac, Pac is more club.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Biggie is more lyricist.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But at the end of the day, when you're out partying, you're not really paying

Jonas Santana (JS):

putting too much attention to the lyrics.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because you're drinking, you're smoking, you're having fun.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I believe like to, to make more noise, you use lyrics.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But you have to use more repeated, verses or chorus that people can remember.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And also his voice.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I think was amazing when he was you know, [machucando el beat,

Jonas Santana (JS):

that's the way I say it in Spanish.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

Machucando el beat, he sounded amazing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I like that one.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And the guys from back then, Dr.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Dre, Snoop Dogg, Easy-E.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Those moments I can't forget.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I think I think I bought Dr.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Dre's 2001 album and it...

Jonas Santana (JS):

Oh, that was there.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...probably didn't come out of my CD

Rob Gagner (RG):

player for about a good month.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The 2001, I think that was his best album.

Rob Gagner (RG):

He's am- he was a he- and it was just fun to listen because

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...at that point, he was kind of just

Rob Gagner (RG):

putting the feather in his cap.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And it was very much of like, just give me one more platinum

Rob Gagner (RG):

record and you can have it back.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

Like, I love that line.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Just have it back.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Y- I'm done.

Rob Gagner (RG):

This is it for me.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I love that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And and this album from 50 Cent, The Massacre.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That was a hot album.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That was- that was number one for weeks.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Well, it's yeah, that one was, I liked that one too.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You can find me in the club

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

In the club, right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

That was...

Rob Gagner (RG):

You like that club music?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Oh yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I like that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Well, everybody in the club gettin tipsy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's another song that I like.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Do you like it because it gets people energized and happy?

Jonas Santana (JS):

The vibe, man.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They make people smile, joke around.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And the most of the time when I'm working, let's say I'm in the computer,

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm always listening to music or a beat.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because I never know when I'm gonna have lyrics in my head.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I start recording Voice Notes, so I don't forget.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Or sometimes I type it in.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But actually most of the songs that I have record, I, I start putting

Jonas Santana (JS):

the beat while driving, visiting shops and I start free styling.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And after I freestyle, I convert it to a song.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you're, you're working on your raps while you're

Rob Gagner (RG):

going to smoke shops to sell cigars?

Jonas Santana (JS):

This is the thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You're always gonna have at least 30 minutes from shop to shop.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Sometimes an hour.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When you take a plane, I love planes because nobody can call me.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Oh, [laughing].

Rob Gagner (RG):

That is a good point.

Rob Gagner (RG):

No one can call you, no one can text you, no one can email you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So you have peace.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you can just focus on what you have to do.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Sometimes I say, I don't wanna travel, but when

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm in the sky, nobody can call me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And at the end of the day, if there's a problem, it's out of my hands.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I have full concentration.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm focused.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I have done songs in 20 minutes.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And then I just say, you know what, let's set up a meeting in a month.

Jonas Santana (JS):

We're gonna record it because I have full concentration.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

[laughs] Yeah, that happens.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Kind of like uh, Jay-Z where he's like, let's

Rob Gagner (RG):

just get in the recording studio.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Let's get it done.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Because it's expensive to sit in here.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

Sometime ... Well, I did three songs uh, a month ago and one

Jonas Santana (JS):

of them was already, I wrote it already.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And the other two, I just had ideas in my head and with the- we recorded

Jonas Santana (JS):

three songs in two and a half days.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And the recorders were like how you do that?

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't I don't know.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And are you rapping in Spanish or English?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Spanish, but I'm actually working on a cigar song.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're working on a cigar song?

Jonas Santana (JS):

The thing is I need, I need more, less Dominican accent English.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I can sound...

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

...imagine I, I don't wanna, I don't

Jonas Santana (JS):

wanna sound very, I don't know.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Sorry, excuse my language, stupid in a song.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But I can say for example, seven in the morning, before I hit the strips, gotta

Jonas Santana (JS):

light up a cigar before reaching my tips.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's hard to decide between JackDaw and a Finch.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I just smoke them both until I get an inch.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughing]

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

That is the- the pre-release.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You heard it here on Box Press.

Rob Gagner (RG):

First time ever that we had a first music pre-release right here.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Love it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I wanna do that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It, it's gonna be fun.

Rob Gagner (RG):

It's awesome.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Out of the normal.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Was that always your, your passion first was music?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yes.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But the thing is you need to take routes that maybe...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Hard to feed that without doing something else, right?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Financially?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That you need to invest a lot of money to really make it happen in the music.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Sure.

Jonas Santana (JS):

As well as uh, as well as cigars, but the game of

Jonas Santana (JS):

cigars let's say, is more easy to understand than the game of the music.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The music is more monopolized.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Oh, really?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Somebody else controls it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, because sometimes you wanna get a firm or you

Jonas Santana (JS):

wanna be signed for so, and so then if you don't do it properly, they

Jonas Santana (JS):

have you for the rest of the life.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You know, a lot of people, they were famous.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And after that, nobody heard of them?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Sure.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So you need to really understand the music

Jonas Santana (JS):

because you do it for fun.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And when that turns to business, it's kind of crazy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

In the, in the case of cigars, for example, me and my brother

Jonas Santana (JS):

actually had the mentality of, as- we don't do this for money.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like I say to you earlier, eventually it will come when you do it the proper stuff.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I wanna do the same thing with music.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If God want me to be famous in music, that will come.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And every time I'm gonna record a music video, I always, when I'm showering,

Jonas Santana (JS):

God, please, if I need to stop recording music, please let me know.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I don't spend, I don't waste my money every single time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And he keep letting me do it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I said, that's a sign I need to keep doing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I say block the fly, do whatever, give me diarrhea.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Whatever.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You know what I mean?

Jonas Santana (JS):

If I I- if I need to stop, just let me know.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you're out there listening to what God has in store...

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...for you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm a true believer.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm a true believer.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm a guy that...

Rob Gagner (RG):

How often do you ask yourself that question?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Is it like, kinda every day?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Like check in.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Am I supposed to be doing this?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

About cigars, I ask it all the time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Did I did the right thing?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Did I speak to these gentlemen the right way?

Jonas Santana (JS):

God help me, please.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you're- you launched the brand in 2019?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you were really new.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're really new still.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But even before you even launched or even now, are there

Rob Gagner (RG):

times where you thought, I don't know if I can keep this brand going.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Well, the type of questions that I have is—do do—will

Jonas Santana (JS):

I get all the tobacco that I need?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because I'm not a tobacco grower...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Right now.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Eventually, it will happen if God allows me, but my demand is getting so high

Jonas Santana (JS):

that sometimes I get a little afraid, but for some reason, me and my brother

Jonas Santana (JS):

and the master blender are connected.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I was gone.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I I've been calling them like once a day, every day for the last three

Jonas Santana (JS):

weeks because the sales went skyrocket.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And they all always reminding me, keep doing it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

God will provide.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I got a call today.

Jonas Santana (JS):

My brother said, "Sell everything you can.

Jonas Santana (JS):

We just were over in the warehouse and we have a bunch of tobacco coming."

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I'm like...

Rob Gagner (RG):

It's on its way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Three weeks calling.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I keep working out.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Everything's happening now.

Jonas Santana (JS):

We're gonna make more cigars.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's good news.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's good news because God knows we wanna keep trying them.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Absolutely.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Well, of course you got the idea from the crow.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You have the entire line with popping colors.

Rob Gagner (RG):

If I were to just ask you, Hey, I'm gonna try one of your cigars.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Which one would you point me to try right away?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Without asking?

Jonas Santana (JS):

What's the strength that you like?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'll go Unkind.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Let's just say I say, I like medium.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'll go Unkind.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You'd go with which one?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Unkind.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Unkind.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because I think it's the more the most

Jonas Santana (JS):

changeable blend that I have.

Rob Gagner (RG):

The most change?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Every third tastes different.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Nice.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You can have the same [inaudible 00:15:55].

Jonas Santana (JS):

I call it not the boring cigar that I have.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Not boring at all.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's my, I can say the number two in sales.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The number one is Crow.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Now it's battling with the Cuco.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They have the same numbers.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

But the Unkind also has the story behind make the people

Jonas Santana (JS):

actually always ask question about that, but the thing is, it changes a lot.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So the first third, you have very intense pepper that you might

Jonas Santana (JS):

think is gonna be full body.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But right after 10 minutes, it's gonna mellow out, turns to creamy—a lot of

Jonas Santana (JS):

flavors that it's very hard to identify.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Then the last third everything comes back from the first third.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Very intense.

Jonas Santana (JS):

No pepper at all.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So that's why I say...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Totally changed.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Not the boring one.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's not the boring one.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But the other ones aren't boring.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I know.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But the thing is, you know, it's the one that changes the

Jonas Santana (JS):

most, but at the end of the...

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you wanna kind of like wow them right away.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's more, let's say that's, that's more wow.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They're all good.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I know Crow is the one that people remember the most.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Probably because of the color red.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Sure.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The people, the brand, that they mention the least.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And they see the least is the Cuco because it's the gray one.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's psy- that's psychology.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But when I saw my numbers, be- before coming to TPE, I sold the same

Jonas Santana (JS):

quantity of Cuco batches as Crow.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And even me, sometimes it works out that I don't know how popular the

Jonas Santana (JS):

Cuco is because people say Coco...

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

... Jonas Santana (JS):

or Cacao.

... Jonas Santana (JS):

Say, bro it's Cuco.

... Jonas Santana (JS):

Cuco bird.

... Jonas Santana (JS):

And Cuco means ghost in the Dominican Spanish.

... Jonas Santana (JS):

So it's hard to why is it Coco?

... Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm like, bro, that's the way you wanna call it.

... Jonas Santana (JS):

Go for it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs] Go for it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So, psychology.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The colors really work a lot.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Even in me.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Well that's what- you have a marketing background.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I have a marketing background.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You went to university in the Dominican Republic.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yes, yes.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Got the marketing degree, you were working for a

Rob Gagner (RG):

cigar manufacturer at the time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yes.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Learning the business,

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But it was just what, what made you say, you know, you had

Rob Gagner (RG):

this idea of what you wanted to do...

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And you even pitched it to them.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You pitched...

Jonas Santana (JS):

I pitched it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...it to the company you were working for?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And tell me why, why do you feel like they shot it down?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Or why didn't they give it the play that you felt like it needed?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Maybe because they see the, the industry

Jonas Santana (JS):

in a more traditional way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Maybe, I don't know, ego?

Rob Gagner (RG):

How did it make you feel when, when they kinda shot it down?

Jonas Santana (JS):

At first?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I feel bad because I wanted to be loyal.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If I wasn't to be loyal, just be gone and pitch the, the,

Jonas Santana (JS):

this thing to somebody else.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I had a conversation with my brother and he told me the first conversation

Jonas Santana (JS):

supposed, it's supposed to be with me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's supposed to be with your boss.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I did.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because he—my brother is older than me and he teach me a lot of things.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So he told me you gotta talk with the guy first.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I did, I tried two times.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Then the third and the las- the last one, I was like, you know what?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I need to respect him anyways, it's his thing, but I wanted to be loyal.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So when I'm gone, and I tried to be loyal, then we don't have the best

Jonas Santana (JS):

relationship as before you kind of like, feel a little bad, but I always

Jonas Santana (JS):

say, Go- if God is allowing me to be successful, I know I didn't do anything

Jonas Santana (JS):

wrong because I I measure by that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I always say, God, why you are allowing me to be bigger?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Why you are allowing me to be more famous?

Jonas Santana (JS):

And the people, taking pictures with me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And they wanna know more about me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I don't have family tradition in this.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Why you allowing me?

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I think that's the way to measure that I know I didn't do the bad thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So, what can I say?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm happy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm happy because at the end of the day, it was meant to be that way.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You can have a lot of ideas, but it's in God's plans at

Jonas Santana (JS):

the- at the end of day, the way he wants you to be and the way you wanna be.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Maybe he want me out for better- for my, for a better me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't know.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Here we are.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's what it is.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And it wasn't easy to get here because in fact, you to

Rob Gagner (RG):

get into the United States, you were there for a little bit illegally.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Because you couldn't

Rob Gagner (RG):

get your green card.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I was coming here already since 2009.

Jonas Santana (JS):

In 1995, I got the visa, but I couldn't stay here.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I got the B-1/B-2, that's the, the visa that you can do business

Jonas Santana (JS):

and you can visit, right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

After that?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Well, I I always wanted to come and live in Miami.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I couldn't make it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I was five months here, go back.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Five months here, go back.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I was all like that for about a year, a year and a half then...

Rob Gagner (RG):

You just couldn't get the right visa.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So I had it wrong.

Jonas Santana (JS):

No.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They denied me.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You couldn't get the right visa to live here.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I, I, I I submit the- for the L1 visa that's the one

Jonas Santana (JS):

that allows you to live like a resident.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And the, the lawyer told me you can stay.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Stay because they're gonna say yes to you because I have all the proper information.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So, and so I stayed over the limit of my days anyways.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Ah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I got the letter.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Denied.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I was illegal already.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

Oh, gotcha.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you were waiting for the results of your application.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The positive result.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And the lawyer was like, yeah, you're gonna be, fine.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, you're gonna be fine.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah, you're gonna be fine.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

Am I gonna say no to the lawyer?

Jonas Santana (JS):

He's supposed to know better than me.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs] You got advised wrong.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I stay.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I, I was already hanging out with a lady that I know for a

Jonas Santana (JS):

long time and we were dating.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I told her, you know what?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I didn't know I was gonna marry that, that soon.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Uh, we need to get married.

Rob Gagner (RG):

What'd she say?

Jonas Santana (JS):

If it's not for business?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Whoa, it's true love?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I, I do it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs] But she had, she had to question.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Is this for business reasons or is this for true love?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like, real talk.

Jonas Santana (JS):

She was straight up like that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

She say, "If it's true love.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'll make it happen."

Jonas Santana (JS):

I didn't know.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I was gonna get married too soon.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm not gonna tell my mother.

Jonas Santana (JS):

We got married.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You didn't tell your mom?

Jonas Santana (JS):

We didn't have any wedding.

Jonas Santana (JS):

We got married.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You didn't tell your your parents.

Jonas Santana (JS):

My mom, yes.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Her mom, no.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And her parents, no.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Neither of them.

Rob Gagner (RG):

How did that go over after they foundout?

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's still, we don't have a very good relationship.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs] Are we rethinking that decision?

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I told my- I, I called my mom.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I- mom, I need to be legal in this country.

Jonas Santana (JS):

She already said yes, she has a good faith already.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I think she's the one, right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because she's gonna even ask me for money to do that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

People do it all the time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But she said, "I want true love.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I want a family and you're the right one.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And you're a hard working guy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's good."

Jonas Santana (JS):

So she said, yes.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm like, "Mommy, she's not gonna tell her momma."

Jonas Santana (JS):

Okay.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You can, you're not the one that's supposed to tell her mom.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's her, so...

Rob Gagner (RG):

You left it up to her, then?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's your decision.

Rob Gagner (RG):

If you wanna tell your mom.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Then she spent like six months still living with her,

Jonas Santana (JS):

even though she was married with me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I was living with my brother.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Then she say, "We need to move together because we're married.

Jonas Santana (JS):

She was the one telling me we need to move together."

Jonas Santana (JS):

Uh, did you tell your mom?

Jonas Santana (JS):

No, I don't feel good about that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

So you prefer a Dominican mom to know that you

Jonas Santana (JS):

move without getting married?

Jonas Santana (JS):

For Dominican moms, that's very bad.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Here, it's different.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But over there, you need to get married before you you leave the house.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And she said, "Oh, whatever.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I figured it out."

Jonas Santana (JS):

We moved A year after, I was tired.

Jonas Santana (JS):

My- the- her mom was sleeping at my house for about three days.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I told her, "What if I tell you I'm married to your daughter?"

Jonas Santana (JS):

She said, "I wouldn't be surprised because you guys are already living together."

Jonas Santana (JS):

So yes, we're married.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs] Straight up like that because she said that like I pushed it right away.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs] You went in when you thought it was clear.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Right away.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I knew it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I knew it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

What you gonna do?

Jonas Santana (JS):

What you gonna do now?

Jonas Santana (JS):

There's nothing to do.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But the, the relationship is still rocky?

Jonas Santana (JS):

The relationship.

Jonas Santana (JS):

was, was like that we had up and downs.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The family's a little different than mine.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I know they just wanna protect her, honestly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I understand that, but after the kid that we have.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The relationship is getting way better.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I know.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I know.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's it's, I know it's, it's trying to protect.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You have a baby boy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I have a baby.

Jonas Santana (JS):

boy.

Rob Gagner (RG):

One years old?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

He's gonna turn one in on the 16th of this month.

Jonas Santana (JS):

His name is Daniel.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Easy in English.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Easy in Spanish.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Daniel.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Daniel.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Happy birthday, Daniel.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yep.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

May 16th.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

Congrats, buddy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Thank you, brother.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Thank you.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Kids change you, man.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Kids change you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You don't see life.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The like when you are teenager, like in, in, in my, in my country,

Jonas Santana (JS):

let's say you probably kind of are allowed to drink at 16, 17.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Sure.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So when you are over there and you hang out a lot, you don't

Jonas Santana (JS):

really think like now, right now, every time, every, day- every time you, you make

Jonas Santana (JS):

a move, you're thinking about that guy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So when I thought I was the boss of my house?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Very, very wrong.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

He's the freaking boss.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

He's, he's the boss, man.

Jonas Santana (JS):

He's the boss.

Jonas Santana (JS):

He's the boss.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Those kids rule the roost.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And they don't even know they have, po- but they, have the power.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And you kind of feel happy about that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You know, like uh

Jonas Santana (JS):

... Rob Gagner (RG): Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because, because they make you happy, right?

Rob Gagner (RG):

He knows who you are, but he also lets you know, who's in charge.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Every time he cries he's- he's- he just wanna be with him, with

Jonas Santana (JS):

his momma, you know, to feed her fe- feed him and things like that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When I cry, nobody feed me.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You know what I mean?

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs] Well, with a family now on the line and it's not easy

Rob Gagner (RG):

to do cigar business What are some of the sacrifices you're making in order

Rob Gagner (RG):

to make sure the brand continues on?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I hope so.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I hope the brand continues.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm gonna teach him a lot of stuff, but I'm gonna be a little different.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't really wanna give him the best life because I'm gonna

Jonas Santana (JS):

be successful and so and so.

Jonas Santana (JS):

He needs to earn it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If it's somebody else outside of my family, that's gonna earn it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's gonna be the one.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Hard work.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Hard work.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And not only hard work that when they feel identify, they really wanna see things.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's not only hard work because you can be hard.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You can be hard working because you wanna get paid.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You wanna- you can do extra hours because you wanna get paid.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Sure.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But what you're doing because you love it,

Jonas Santana (JS):

you really wanna- you enjoy it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's the thing I treat my guys as family.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't know when you went to the booth, the way they are, they talk to me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like, I'm just one of his friends.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But they also know when to stop.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That it's business time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I like that feeling because I believe that's the only way you're really

Jonas Santana (JS):

gonna shine when you are yourself.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right

Jonas Santana (JS):

Not because you're trying to be double

Jonas Santana (JS):

faced so the boss can be happy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I want the true you, all the time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

As you can see, I don't have a dress code.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't have any dress code.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They all try to be themselves.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They put the music that they want.

Jonas Santana (JS):

We turn, "Who's who's gonna put music now?

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's your turn.

Jonas Santana (JS):

What you think, man.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You're the country boy?

Jonas Santana (JS):

You're the rap boy?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Make it happen."

Rob Gagner (RG):

Nice.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Then they feel happy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They don't feel like they're working.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Rob Gagner (RG):

They can express themselves the way they want.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

There's, there's always a line.

Jonas Santana (JS):

We need to explain so and so to the customers like this.

Jonas Santana (JS):

There's always a line, but enjoy it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Be yourself.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's all I say.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Well, what kind of sacrifices have you had to make

Rob Gagner (RG):

in order to make sure the brand continues on and continues going?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Sacrifice?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Well, what about I have done [inaudible 00:28:37] to the States by myself?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Uh, I, even that I have a team.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I I'm, I still call people.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like right now, I have over 200 emails just because I wanna call

Jonas Santana (JS):

every single guy that bought the last month, just to say, thank you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Even though I have reps taking care of it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I want the- them to feel that I'm reachable.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm here because of them.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right

Jonas Santana (JS):

At the end of the day, even that I made the

Jonas Santana (JS):

cigars, I don't make cigars for me.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you're sacrificing some time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I sacrifice a lot of time, a lot of family time.

Rob Gagner (RG):

How does that go over with the family?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I, the thing, the good thing is she understands.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But when I, when I come back, I really balance it out.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Probably Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm not gonna work.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Probably.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Nice.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Just calls.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Calls.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I'm home.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Just to see whatever the kid is doing, all the mess.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

What he's doing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I tell my wife, "Yo, go do your hair.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Go do your nails.

Jonas Santana (JS):

She you deserve it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Here's a little bit of cash.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Go buy some Gucci.

Jonas Santana (JS):

'I don't like Gucci.' " [laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

So buy whatever you want, baby.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You know.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you, you give back to your wife by...

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't-

Rob Gagner (RG):

...taking care of your son, Daniel for a while let

Rob Gagner (RG):

her get out of, because she's the primary caregiver for him right now.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're not sending him into daycare to take...

Jonas Santana (JS):

No, she...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I, I want it to be this way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But let's be honest if you're traveling, and you go away two

Jonas Santana (JS):

weeks out of the month, and when you come back, you look more broke.

Jonas Santana (JS):

What's she gonna think that you are with another one?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

So you need to actually show her that you are being better.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So we are better.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So the only way is by giving back giving do this.

Jonas Santana (JS):

How you wanna-

Rob Gagner (RG):

And it's not just monetary it's,

Rob Gagner (RG):

you're giving your time, and-

Jonas Santana (JS):

Time, whatever you wanna do.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Committed.

Jonas Santana (JS):

There's some error that people, that mens

Jonas Santana (JS):

do when they come back from a travel, they just buy something.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It can be so much expensive, but, but you're missing out something.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When you come back, you just need to do one question to your wife.

Jonas Santana (JS):

"What do you want?"

Jonas Santana (JS):

And maybe what she wants is only your time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

She can maybe say, "I just want want you in- at the house for two days."

Jonas Santana (JS):

And that is more valuable than the Gucci that you...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Oh, yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

...brought to her.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Just ask her what she wants.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because, you know, she's not a robot that works for me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

She says, "You're my man."

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like she loves me, that's why she's with me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But she's different.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Maybe you- you agree.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Right?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Good advice.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

Good advice.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's a good advice.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Good advice.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So with your brand, we're seeing a total shift than what we normally see in

Rob Gagner (RG):

this industry where it's a lot of back story on maybe the person's heritage

Rob Gagner (RG):

and legacy in the tobacco industry, or it's some heritage with the brand.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You went a totally different route where you went popping of color.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You have a theme, but it doesn't really, it's not a romanticized story.

Jonas Santana (JS):

No.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Why did you decide to go that route and think that that's gonna

Rob Gagner (RG):

be beneficial to connect with consumers?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because I, I don't, I don't come here just to teach.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Remember, I think I already told you I, I try to do things, not from

Jonas Santana (JS):

the inside, it's to the outside.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So the most of the time people focus on come to the factory and see what we do.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They market it that way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I market, "What do you do when you smoke cigars?"

Rob Gagner (RG):

Okay.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So what do I typically, when I'm smoking cigars, I'm either outside mowing

Rob Gagner (RG):

the lawn, taking the dog for a walk.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I find it harder to sit down and smoke a cigar now than I ever have before.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But maybe that's just because I have a kid and I got to...

Jonas Santana (JS):

Time , time.

... Rob Gagner (RG):

keep moving, but otherwise I'd be at the

... Rob Gagner (RG):

smoke shop every Friday.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So let me tell you, let me give you some examples.

Jonas Santana (JS):

As a- as we focus on what you do when you smoke cigars or why you're smoking cigars.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's not only because you like the cigars.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Sometimes it's because success, when you go on Instagram, let's say,

Jonas Santana (JS):

and somebody is, "Hey guys, thank you for everything, let's ride."

Jonas Santana (JS):

And they have a cigar and a Ferrari, vroom.

Jonas Santana (JS):

How do you feel?

Jonas Santana (JS):

You know what I mean?

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's a feeling.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You, you, you can be, I don't know, in a motorcycle because

Jonas Santana (JS):

maybe you are a Harley lover.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You go over there.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You wanna play poker.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I- I know people that they love to cook.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's the stress relief for them.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And they like to smoke at the same time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I love every, I li- I love to smoke cigars with with wine Cabernet

Jonas Santana (JS):

Sauvignon, and different cuts of meats at the same time, because it- if you

Jonas Santana (JS):

really work it out with your palate.

Jonas Santana (JS):

One bite.

Jonas Santana (JS):

One puff.

Jonas Santana (JS):

One sip.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I do it over and over again with different cuts of meats.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So some other people, I love to smoke cigars when I'm doing podcast.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I love to smoke cigars just to say, "Oh, it's the end of the day."

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's my time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's something else.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I the the cigar is very subjective.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So when you're smoking cigars, it's actually your time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You don't wanna be bothered.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Some people like to read books while they're

Jonas Santana (JS):

smoking cigars because they, they fi- , they find peace over there.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They put the phone very far, maybe they got a Kindle or a hard book,

Jonas Santana (JS):

whatever, all alone, by themself.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They smoke their, their favorite cigar while, while they're reading.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And they feel comfortable

Rob Gagner (RG):

I had a guy in the smoke shop that always came in with his iPad

Rob Gagner (RG):

and watched movies and smoked cigars.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And I always thought it was weird.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And he always had his earbuds in, he was always watching something.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But that's his, that's his time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's the thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I love to watch movies-

Rob Gagner (RG):

He's not being anti-social, he just wants to smoke

Rob Gagner (RG):

cigars and do one of his, you know, favorite hobbies of just unplugging.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I love to watch movies while smoking cigars.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I have...

Rob Gagner (RG):

I like to eat and smoke cigars.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I love it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I don't know why, that's like a huge treat.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Maybe it's because of all the smoking bans, but I love to

Rob Gagner (RG):

eat and smoke at the same time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Oof.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The palates.

Jonas Santana (JS):

you, you play with the palates.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

That's one of the things.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

For example, I have a, a guy he's a rapper, famous already

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

in the Dominican Republic.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

He actually smoke my Crow, the gran turo.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

He spends around, he buys around six boxes a month, every month.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Whoa.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Straight up.

Rob Gagner (RG):

He likes that stuff.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And he always say to the, his friends, I, when I want

Jonas Santana (JS):

to record, I like to smoke cigar.

Jonas Santana (JS):

He always pick up the Crow.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When he's in concert, he smoke the Crow.

Jonas Santana (JS):

In my case, he it was meant to be, he liked my brand.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But what I wanted to say, he does this, smoking cigars.

Jonas Santana (JS):

He does that, smoking cigars.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So at the end of the day, everybody has a way of living and they just try

Jonas Santana (JS):

to have a partner at the same time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's say a partner in crime.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And his partner in crime is the cigar.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So that's why I always focus in what the people do when they smoke cigars.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's why I market that way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's why, if you go to my Instagram, and you're gonna see me

Jonas Santana (JS):

in the jacuzzi, smoking a cigar.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

Who doesn't like that?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I was like, Hey, good morning.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Second day.

Jonas Santana (JS):

TPE 2021.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Booth 2022.

Jonas Santana (JS):

See you guys there.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Everybody was happy for that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

One day, I was driving to the airport and I, and I had a friend with a motorcycle,

Jonas Santana (JS):

but not the nice motorcycles, just the Dominican motorcycles, which is different.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You're probably, you're aware of that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I said, "Bro, Drive the bike.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm gonna be backwards, lighting up a cigar, take me to the

Jonas Santana (JS):

airport, like that backwards."

Jonas Santana (JS):

And people were like, "Oh, this guy's crazy, but I'm just trying to have fun."

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I wanna be on top of a car.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I- Imagine smoking a cigar skydiving.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

Something like that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

It might go, whew!

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly, exactly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Party on a yacht.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't know.

Rob Gagner (RG):

What about the company that, like, I always think about if

Rob Gagner (RG):

there's one person that you could smoke a cigar with, who would it be?

Rob Gagner (RG):

I don't like the dead or alive question.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Everyone always picks a dead guy, alive.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I wanna smoke a cigar with Carter Beauford, the drummer

Rob Gagner (RG):

from Dave Matthews Band.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I heard he smokes cigars, and I just thought it'd be interesting

Rob Gagner (RG):

to pick his brain over a cigar.

Rob Gagner (RG):

What about you?

Jonas Santana (JS):

With whom I wanna smoke a cigar?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's alive still.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Who would you wanna, like smoke a cigar with that's still alive that

Rob Gagner (RG):

you could like, if we set it up today.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I think...

Rob Gagner (RG):

You could do it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It has to be with the face of the cigar.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Which one do you think is the face of the cigar?

Jonas Santana (JS):

And does It have a brand right now?

Rob Gagner (RG):

The face of a cigar?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I believe it's the face of the cigar.

Rob Gagner (RG):

It doesn't have a bran- brand?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Schwarzenegger.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Who?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Absolutely.

Jonas Santana (JS):

He's the face for me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

He's the face as a consumer of the cigar industry.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Really?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Double check.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Well, I mean...

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you, when they, when they do the, when this mom mom.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Uh, Mother's Day.

Jonas Santana (JS):

What's the picture that they use?

Jonas Santana (JS):

If your father doesn't smoke cigars, then Happy Mother's Day to your father.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

There's a video that they post every year.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You're, uh, he's he's like, "You know why I smoke cigars?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because I can.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Why I smoke them in my house, because I can, because my, my

Jonas Santana (JS):

wife's father smokes cigars.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So she would care not- say nothing to me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So he, he, I think he's the face of the of the cigar industry.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you'd wanna have a cigar with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It has to be with him.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That would be a great epic cigar.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And if the Rock every smoked cigars?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I would like the Rock.

Rob Gagner (RG):

The Rock.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And Will Smith.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If they smoked cigars.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't,

Rob Gagner (RG):

And Will Smith?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I, I, I'm a true, fan.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And not only a fan.

Jonas Santana (JS):

A fan with mind, let's say, Will Smith and The Rock.

Jonas Santana (JS):

As human beings, gentlemen, smart, hard working guys, and

Jonas Santana (JS):

guys that you can learn with.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If they don't know how to smoke cigars, I teach them, honestly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

Come with me.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I'll take you underneath my wing and teach you how to smoke cigars.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Those are good ones.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I like those.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Those gentlemen, yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I like it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

Hard working man's man.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So one of the interesting things I always think

Rob Gagner (RG):

about for a brand, especially the- a brand that's coming up...

Jonas Santana (JS):

mm-hmm [affirmative].

Rob Gagner (RG):

...is how organic is the following.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That that brand is getting.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Well,

Rob Gagner (RG):

You have a pretty organic following, my friend.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't- sometimes I don't even believe it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Like 80.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You said, I think in an interview somewhere, it was like 80%...

Jonas Santana (JS):

Of the growth...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Of the people that smoke it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

They're not, they're not influenced, they're just smoking it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Because they like it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

They want it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Now, do you have paid influencers or brand ambassadors out there

Rob Gagner (RG):

that are smoking your cigar?

Jonas Santana (JS):

None of them.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Now I think it's gonna be the first time I'm gonna do a paid

Jonas Santana (JS):

promotion, maybe for the PCA.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Just because I think...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah, but that doesn't reach consumers.

Jonas Santana (JS):

No, that's retailers.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's retailers.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I haven't done any magazine promotion yet.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I think I always thought one day it's gonna happen because we will need it

Jonas Santana (JS):

because there's stages in the process.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But I can tell you that 80% of the growth of the company

Jonas Santana (JS):

has been because of Instagram.

Jonas Santana (JS):

People sharing to others, telling you, you need to smoke this.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You need to smoke.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That tagging me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So something else that I do that some people don't do, maybe.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's call it time, is I'm the one that answer everything on Instagram.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So they feel that I'm reachable.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Wait, you're the guy that people are talking to on Instagram?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm the one that handles everything on Instagram.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you're not paying somebody on your staff to do that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

No, everything is me.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Wow.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Everything is me.

Rob Gagner (RG):

How do you even get any time in the day?

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's getting crazy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So probably I'm gonna hire one.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs] Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs] Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's getting crazy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But at the moment, I just wanted to, and I don't know.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's like my baby, like, I don't think someone else unless they feel,

Jonas Santana (JS):

really feel very identified with you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They gonna talk like you-

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah, you have- you'd have to really mentor somebody.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yes.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...to have the same mindset as you in order to turn that over.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Because, like you said, it is very intimate to talk to the end user

Rob Gagner (RG):

on Instagram about your brand.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I've done it for year, for two years already.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm getting to a point that maybe I wanna give it to someone else

Jonas Santana (JS):

already because the company's growing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I have a lot of things to do.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Do you remember the best compliment you got like

Rob Gagner (RG):

right away in the beginning?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I have people that have text me like I'm a super hero.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I have people that text me, "You changed my life, bro."

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's like crazy.

Rob Gagner (RG):

How did you change their life?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Did they explain?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Or just said that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because they feel like they feel that my cigars

Jonas Santana (JS):

give them too much relaxation.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That I, I probably that's the way the want to express.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They say, "Oh, you're a killer."

Jonas Santana (JS):

"Oh, you're the man."

Jonas Santana (JS):

"I like the way you do things."

Jonas Santana (JS):

"I like when you talk to people keep going."

Jonas Santana (JS):

"When is the next cigar?"

Jonas Santana (JS):

They're always asking, but I have some people that tell

Jonas Santana (JS):

me, "Bro, I wanna be like you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I wanna br- I, I really wanna meet you."

Jonas Santana (JS):

I have people that see me in the streets, smokers, and they have

Jonas Santana (JS):

screamed because they see my face.

Jonas Santana (JS):

"Ah!

Jonas Santana (JS):

Jonas, I see you!

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's take a picture!"

Jonas Santana (JS):

I feel happy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I actually don't, don't don't say it in a bad way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's a good thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But I didn't know that would happen.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I was not expecting that, like that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're impacting people on a very intimate level.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The thing is when I introduce the brand, and I talk

Jonas Santana (JS):

everything and I always give the personal touch, actually when I introduce my

Jonas Santana (JS):

brand, it doesn't sound like a story.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It sounds like a marketing class.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Marketing class.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

There's like an...

Jonas Santana (JS):

With some, but it doesn't sound like a story.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The story is when I tell you, "Oh, I used to sleep in living rooms.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I used to take uh, one day I took a train from, I told you, right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Miami to Buffalo, 32 hours to m- Madison Square Garden.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Then seven hours or five hours.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Why did you have to take a train?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I had no paper and I was afraid.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Maybe...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Oh, so you couldn't fly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That was not the best option, according to the lawyer.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And you had to sleep on people's couches.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I did that a couple times.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Why was that?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Because you couldn't get a hotel?

Rob Gagner (RG):

You didn't have the money?

Jonas Santana (JS):

No, because I was just starting in here, starting in here.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So, the rent is high.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I was sleeping at my, my brother before that-

Rob Gagner (RG):

Oh wait.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Now we're not talking about traveling for the brand.

Rob Gagner (RG):

We're talking about you're sleeping on people's couches and...

Jonas Santana (JS):

I did that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...living here

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...trying to save money so that you can start your brand.

Jonas Santana (JS):

E- That happened.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I remember...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Oh, that's humbling, man.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I remember I even slept at the warehouse

Jonas Santana (JS):

a couple times, that happened.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're- you're...

Jonas Santana (JS):

At the warehouse

Rob Gagner (RG):

...essentially homeless.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When I was, when I was, Mm, I'm not gonna say that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

But probably probably it was too late.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't wanna drive one hour.

Jonas Santana (JS):

10 PM.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The warehouse that I used to, the place that I used to work with, they have

Jonas Santana (JS):

a shower and I'm like, you know what?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't wanna drive for an hour to get home, to then come back an hour and a

Jonas Santana (JS):

half because of the traffic at that time in the morning, I'm gonna stay here.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I, di- I did that a couple times just to, I don't wanna do that again because

Jonas Santana (JS):

I was the one receiving containers by myself over 50 feet, right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Unloading it, loading it back, inventory, shipping, sales, traveling,

Jonas Santana (JS):

events, writing the checks, everything.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm not gonna say I was the best at at doing all of that at the same time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I can never say that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because it's too much at the same time.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But I was the one packing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Bro, I remember I, I had an event at . In- that's in Miami Gardens.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I, that day I received a big container and I had two pallets like this.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They-

Rob Gagner (RG):

They were leaning?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like this.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You know,

Rob Gagner (RG):

They weren't, they weren't standing up straight.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I had to unload the pallets.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Those two, box by box, to put it in another pallet, to wrap it again and

Jonas Santana (JS):

then take everything out of the rest that was okay to then move things

Jonas Santana (JS):

around for the proper shops, and ship.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And then after I finished that, do an event at seven PM.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Whew.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's a busy day.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That was abuse.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

Honestly, that was crazy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

But I honestly believe that when you work with somebody,

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

it's like college that pays you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

If you really pay attention.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Say that again.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When you work with somebody, and you pay attention.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's a college that pays you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So at the- at the moment, I was mad.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Right now, I'm happy that that happened to me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm very happy because I know everything and I'm learning because

Jonas Santana (JS):

th- I don't know I don't know it all.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But at least at that warehouse.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And that was the easy part for me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Oh, I need a warehouse.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, I know how it goes.

Jonas Santana (JS):

We need this.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I know who to hire.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's go.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I know about that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I know about...

Rob Gagner (RG):

The knowledge was more helpful to you than the pay.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The traveling, how to knock doors in shops,

Jonas Santana (JS):

how to do the sales, invoicing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Everything.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Everything.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You you can do everything.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When you pay attention, it's a college that pays you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's not about having your mind, like I really wanna fly out of here.

Jonas Santana (JS):

No, but if that happens, because let me tell you, your experience is not

Jonas Santana (JS):

only based on, in what you graduated.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Your experience is what in, in where you were working.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And for how many years.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

Because let's be honest.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

And my brother tells me that all the time, after you have five years outside of the

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

college, you are already not updated.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

Five years.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

And I can say, I can tell you in a year, you're not updated.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

So you need to keep update yourself by books, by virtual classes,

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

master's, things like that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

So at the end of the day, your experience is gonna be based on what

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

did you do for the last 10 years?

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

That's your experience, not your college degree.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Unless you, after that, you work right away on that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's a different story, which is not, not even what, 30% of what happens?

Rob Gagner (RG):

But what do you think is more important?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Books like the books?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Or like college, I felt like it was- just taught me how to take a test and pass.

Rob Gagner (RG):

it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

It tau- taught me a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of basics, but

Rob Gagner (RG):

the true grit and the true learning...

Jonas Santana (JS):

Mm-hmm.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[affirmative]

Rob Gagner (RG):

...happened.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Like you said,

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...when the psychology pays you in the experience.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's my opinion.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I believe more in books than the college.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And why is that?

Jonas Santana (JS):

College is a business.

Jonas Santana (JS):

College is a business.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And this is the thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If they are teaching you something, if they are teaching you something

Jonas Santana (JS):

that was out to the market four years ago, you're not updated anymore.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's be honest.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But, okay.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So the, the curriculum is always gonna change, right?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Or there's gonna be a new person out on the scene that has new insights,

Rob Gagner (RG):

but that also came from their experience out in the real world.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I believe that the college is for the basics.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Then if you go, if you read a book every two weeks, reli- like you

Jonas Santana (JS):

read a little of what you like.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The best route after that, is just going, working something

Jonas Santana (JS):

that you think you're gonna like.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Go there.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And after you work over there and you think you like it, then you do a master's.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Then you do a master's.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you really wanna go deep in it and having your mindset that

Jonas Santana (JS):

you're gonna owe a lot of money.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You're gonna take a loan.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And you're gonna have...

Jonas Santana (JS):

my wife.

Jonas Santana (JS):

She's gonna, she's gonna be paying, like 30 years straight to pay the loan.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So-

Rob Gagner (RG):

Is that a good thing or bad?

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's a bad thing, I believe.

Jonas Santana (JS):

She's gonna be...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

...30 years paying 30 bucks.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So they can take all the money from the loan.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When she did the- She her career.

Jonas Santana (JS):

She did the- she did the international business, right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

So let's be honest.

Jonas Santana (JS):

We are in a capitalized country.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So, what do you need to start a business?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Capital?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I believe you need to give, let's say your

Jonas Santana (JS):

child, like go and sweat, but if they have the right mindset and they are

Jonas Santana (JS):

mature, I'm gonna be his partner.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If I have the liquid money, let's do this.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You know, what do you like to do?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let me train you how to work with people.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So is it the, the books that are better to learn from?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Or is it the experience that's better to learn from?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Both at the same time you can n- you cannot

Jonas Santana (JS):

stop reading books because it's gonna give you like the techniques.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Other people's experiences.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So there's a book out.

Jonas Santana (JS):

There's a new book out every month or every two weeks.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So that's more updated than the class.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you like both.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You like to have the knowledge.

Rob Gagner (RG):

To get your brain to start thinking differently, but then you also

Rob Gagner (RG):

like to have the experience to apply it to see if it works.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let me see if I can just say it in short words.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Honestly, to be successful in this world is just to be

Jonas Santana (JS):

the first at doing something.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You need to be the first at doing it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

At doing something or take som-

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's interesting.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Take a product and how you make it better, for example.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because every product is created.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Every cigar, there's no room in humidors, honestly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I that's why I just take the product.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I see what are the good things and bad things about that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I put it in my way, what they use back then that didn't work back then.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That probably the timing is now.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The color thing, I'm not the first.

Rob Gagner (RG):

No.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Toraño's the first, not even Camacho.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But maybe the timing?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like there's there's something that somebody told me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Uh, good artists borrow, great artists steal.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

One more time with that?

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're stealing information?

Jonas Santana (JS):

No, that's not what it means.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's like it didn't work for you that d- back then probably

Jonas Santana (JS):

it's gonna work out for me now.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Probably.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because everything's created in the cigars, unless you

Jonas Santana (JS):

do an illuminated cigar.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But at the end of the day, out of the rest, mine

Jonas Santana (JS):

looks very different because 80% is like the rest—wooden colored boxes.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Same old, same old ribbons, coins on the bands.

Rob Gagner (RG):

What do you think the consumer is looking for when they try

Rob Gagner (RG):

to make a decision on picking a cigar to spend their hard earned money on?

Jonas Santana (JS):

What do people see?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Depends.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If it's not a newbie, they just wanna go first by strength.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Or what was their mood for?

Jonas Santana (JS):

There was like how I feel.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And then what's the strength?

Jonas Santana (JS):

So basic when there's some just different ways to tell the guy what to smoke.

Jonas Santana (JS):

First is what is your mood for?

Jonas Santana (JS):

The second?

Jonas Santana (JS):

What do you typically smoke?

Jonas Santana (JS):

If they say I like so and so brand, that particular wrapper.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So this- try this out.

Jonas Santana (JS):

This is gonna be better or at least you're gonna enjoy it

Jonas Santana (JS):

because I know what you smoke.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you're a newbie, brother, this is not cigarette.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Don't inhale it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Please, puff it like, like that, don't be hard on it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Treat it like a baby.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I'm not gonna give you Connecticut specifically because

Jonas Santana (JS):

Connecticut actually have bitterness.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I prefer-

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yes!

Jonas Santana (JS):

...to give you a very light Sumatra wrapper, bro.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Thank you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

So I get so sick of, well, if you're new to cigars,

Rob Gagner (RG):

I'm gonna give you a Connecticut shade or a Connecticut wrapper.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

There's bitterness in it that sometimes people can

Rob Gagner (RG):

be—and esp- especially if you smoke it fast, the bitterness comes out quick.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And half the time they're smoking the thing

Rob Gagner (RG):

too fast or getting too hot.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's right.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So I like your idea.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Give them the Sumatra wrapper that has medium body, not enou- not a ton of

Rob Gagner (RG):

nicotine, but a good amount of flavor and a good enough backbone for them to get.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Oh yeah, that was different.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That was good.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But...

Rob Gagner (RG):

I like that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If I give somebody like a first cigar, a Connecticut

Jonas Santana (JS):

probably he's not gonna come back.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

Really.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's bitter.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Are you telling the retailers that?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I tell it all the time, but let me tell you, when

Jonas Santana (JS):

you go there, as a young guy and they already have 30 years in the business.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You really know how to give the information.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You don't have to tell me that twice.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

I've learned that one, the hard, the hard way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But I do it the nice way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I always say that I created the Finch as the first cigar in the morning,

Jonas Santana (JS):

if you're not a Connecticut smoker.

Rob Gagner (RG):

The Finch?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

What's the wrapper on that?

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

That's another Sumatra.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Another Sumatra.

Jonas Santana (JS):

We had- it's a little creamy, hints of white pepper.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So you can know it's there.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I, I wanna smoke them all now.

Jonas Santana (JS):

First cigar in the morning.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Cup of coffee, no bitter- no bitterness allowed.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't want it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Love it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And then I actually don't take it to

Jonas Santana (JS):

the JackDaw, If they are new.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I take it to the Rook.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You take it to the Rook?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

What's the, what's the wrapper on the Rook?

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's another Sumatra but you go but you feel more oily on your

Jonas Santana (JS):

lips and you have hints of sweetness.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I love sweetness in a cigar.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's the finish.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So it has a a sweet finish?

Jonas Santana (JS):

But it's not a sweet tip.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right, but tobacco's natural sweet.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And let me tell you, for some reason, I jump from the Rook to

Jonas Santana (JS):

Cuco, because it's full body, no pepper.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I like that too.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I'm not a big pepper bomb person.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I'm developing his palate.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm developing his palate.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Then after that, let's do the JackDaw now.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Then let's do the Unkind.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Then let's do the Crow.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So when I asked you which cigar should I smoke

Rob Gagner (RG):

out of your line, that should've been your answer right there.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You just walked me through the whole line up of where to go, when

Rob Gagner (RG):

to get it and how to step through it, so that it builds on itself.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The- they, well, well, the thing is that six pack, we

Jonas Santana (JS):

make it because we believe that regular people smoke three cigars a day.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If they wanna go heavy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They can probably go-

Rob Gagner (RG):

You think regular people smoke three cigars a day?

Jonas Santana (JS):

The, the real smokers.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Man, you've been in Florida for far too long, my friend.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm talking Monday, Tuesday, Friday, people

Jonas Santana (JS):

that it's not only at the shop.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah, but three cigars a day?

Rob Gagner (RG):

I don't even, I don't hardly ever get three cigars in a day.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Maybe you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But there's people that smoke three cigars a day breakfast...

Rob Gagner (RG):

But the average person?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Lunch...

Rob Gagner (RG):

At a retail smoke shop?

Jonas Santana (JS):

The real smokers.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The real smokers go breakfast, go lunch, and then hang out with their friends.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I call it the dinnertime cigar.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Where, where are they working?

Rob Gagner (RG):

I want that job.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Where are they working?

Rob Gagner (RG):

That they can do breakfast, lunch, and dinner on smoking.

Rob Gagner (RG):

cigars.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They smoke the cigar before they go to job.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Man.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That happens.

Rob Gagner (RG):

It must be the weather, must be the weather.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Because man, get up in Minnesota on a cold winter day, I'm not

Rob Gagner (RG):

lighting up a cigar right away.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The thing is, if you pay attention, I

Jonas Santana (JS):

give you three options in a day.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And the next day I give you another three options, and you

Jonas Santana (JS):

don't get bored about my line.

Jonas Santana (JS):

First day...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Well there are three different options every day.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because, a- and I give you from mild to medium the whole day.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So first day you go Finch, then Rook, then Cuco, the, the, the last cigar of the day.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Next day you go JackDaw, bitter a little bitter because it's Connecticut.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You need to go straight up to the Unkind.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because it has- it has- it has a lot of power, intense flavors that you're gonna

Jonas Santana (JS):

forget about that bitterness right away.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And then you, you finish it up with the Crow.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's a thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah, all right.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So Blackbird Cigar Company has three cigars for you.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Every single day.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You can mix and match, piece of cake.

Rob Gagner (RG):

If you can smoke three cigars a day, great.

Rob Gagner (RG):

If you smoke one a day, great.

Rob Gagner (RG):

If you smoke...

Jonas Santana (JS):

Great.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...one a week.

Rob Gagner (RG):

They still got it for you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

They'll match whatever level you wanna be at.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I love it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's just to make it easy to the guys.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Three cigars a day, though.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You-

Jonas Santana (JS):

Three cigars.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...You're funny, man.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're funny.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

I, uh, I'm totally on the other side of the fence of that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I think people smoke maybe one or two cigars a week.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When I travel, man, people really smoke

Jonas Santana (JS):

at least three cigars a day.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Wow.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It depends on where you are, but.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That I I would agree with that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I think it's easier for people in warmer states to to get those cigars in.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Some people they- some people they do one th-

Jonas Santana (JS):

through the day and two, uh, a night.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Some people do that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The thing is some- I, I see people that they smoke a cigar that is

Jonas Santana (JS):

supposed to be one hour and a half.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They do it in 45 minutes.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

See, I don't think that's right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's not right.

Rob Gagner (RG):

In my opinion.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I just think it ruins the flavor.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And then it's just like a waste of time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But there's something.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's not right but...

Rob Gagner (RG):

If it works for them and they, they feel like

Rob Gagner (RG):

it's on their palate then, great.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But then I have to ask myself—are you just smoking just to smoke?

Jonas Santana (JS):

The thing is, cigars is very subjective.

Rob Gagner (RG):

It is.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I, I...

Rob Gagner (RG):

I just have never had a good experience

Rob Gagner (RG):

smoking a cigar in 45 minutes.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I can tell you the proper way, but at the

Jonas Santana (JS):

end of the day, it's your cigar.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's a good point.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like I told you, I let everybody be themself.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I'm not saying, I'm just saying you're doing it wrong.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That can happen.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So it is what it is.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's true.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Like you said, it's subjective.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're not gonna no- You're not gonna tell them to not do it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But man, I would have a hard pressed time to say, are you really enjoy that?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Or are you just burning it to burn it?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I hope they enjoy it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

W- Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And with how much time it takes to actually make one of these...

Jonas Santana (JS):

How much time to make that cigar?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

With how much time it takes.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I mean, it takes a long time to make a cigar.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you do the proper math, let's say you grow the tobacco by

Jonas Santana (JS):

yourself—at least two and a half years.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah, that scares me.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And you burned it in 45 minutes.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're killing me, man.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're killing me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Actually, you're right, you're right, you're right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They're not giving the proper respect.

Rob Gagner (RG):

No.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You know, like you said, well, people say like there's, you can come in here, but

Rob Gagner (RG):

everyone, you know, everyone has tobacco.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Everyone has a story.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Everyone has the whole nine.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Rob Gagner (RG):

And there's certain things in this industry that are kind

Rob Gagner (RG):

of just like unwritten rules, right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And one of them.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I think that, that I see that everyone says is like, kind of

Rob Gagner (RG):

the respect for how much time and energy it takes to make this.

Jonas Santana (JS):

No, you're right.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And when you see somebody burning it too fast, then

Rob Gagner (RG):

I go, I don't know if you got it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

No, you're right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And the guy that make the cigar because there's something funny and

Jonas Santana (JS):

interesting to know about the rollers.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The rollers, they do average from 300 cigars to 500 cigars per, uh, a day.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

You don't know if that day, that guy had a big argument with his wife and he was

Jonas Santana (JS):

still trying to make a good cigar for you.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You don't know if that guy, had a si-

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Because their day isn't always roses.

Jonas Santana (JS):

No

Rob Gagner (RG):

They're just people like you and I that have to go

Rob Gagner (RG):

to work and produce something, no matter what's going on in their life.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And people don't understand that psychology, when they don't feel

Jonas Santana (JS):

good, they can make a bad cigar.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Now that's interesting.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Bro, that happened and people don't think about that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

If you're not, if you're not with it...

Jonas Santana (JS):

You just do it because you need the money

Jonas Santana (JS):

you need to pay your bills.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Do you, can you pick out people in your that's

Rob Gagner (RG):

that are rolling for you and go, that guy's just having a bad day.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I have, I have one over there that his sister has cancer.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Oh man.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When he feel bad?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't think he's no longer working over there because ups and down.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But when he was there, bro, go home.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You don't feel well because he was screaming at everybody.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Oh yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like paying the bad things to everybody, you know, if he

Jonas Santana (JS):

needed something, "Hey, this was a-."

Jonas Santana (JS):

I have a very good roller over there that his happiness just to have

Jonas Santana (JS):

a new in Dominican it's Pasola.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's a little bike.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That is don't really cost- it don't really cost that much, but for him, yes.

Rob Gagner (RG):

A cheap way of getting around.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

Did you say I need, it?

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

Help me out in this port- portion of the cost because I just need your help.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

He was sad.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

Hey, let's, let's work it out, make it happen.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

But anyways, he's the first at the- at the factory and he's the

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

last at the factory, every day.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

So...

Rob Gagner (RG):

So he's...

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm not here for the money honestly, but

Jonas Santana (JS):

the thing is money is a tool.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Sure.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Why do you think I'm gonna be very

Jonas Santana (JS):

happy if I have 500 Ferraris?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Why?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I have 500 Ferraris that I need to change the oil, [laughs] and I-

Rob Gagner (RG):

It becomes a job.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I would- I would need to hire people to just wash the cars.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs] So if I can help the guy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

He's working over there, he's gonna make be- better, cigars, just because he's

Jonas Santana (JS):

not thinking about that bike anymore.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Go for it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's make it happen.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You gotta know how to work around.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Cause sometimes you're trying to be a little, we call it tiger.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs] Tigre, in e- in Spanish.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Tigre?

Jonas Santana (JS):

In Spanish.

Rob Gagner (RG):

What does it mean?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like when you try to get more than you were supposed to get.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Ho- kind of like hustle in a negative way.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When you try to hustle somebody.

Rob Gagner (RG):

When you're trying to hustle or like the way you kinda

Rob Gagner (RG):

just phrased it is like, if I try to just get everything I and squeeze,

Rob Gagner (RG):

everything I can out of these guys, whether they feel good or not.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...you're not gonna probably get the

Rob Gagner (RG):

right lemonade that you want.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm not gonna have 100% of the guys working there,

Jonas Santana (JS):

very good, but I don't need anybody, like I don't need to like everybody.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Sure.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't need it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

All I need from them is to do the proper job.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You were hired here to do this properly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And this is the contract just do it well.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But you're conscious of how they're feeling

Rob Gagner (RG):

so that you can kind of...

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...relate to that and make changes where you need to

Rob Gagner (RG):

make changes.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And they realize that I have feelings.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because when I go there December, they, I, I, the people that works like in

Jonas Santana (JS):

the office, they always say, don't come don't come here, Jonas because there's

Jonas Santana (JS):

a lot of people working for you here.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They just want money from you [laughing].

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I can't go.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Sometimes I can't.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs] Depends on the time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's crazy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughing].

Rob Gagner (RG):

Oh, gosh.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But that happens.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's this is the true thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Things that people don't say, but it happens backstage.

Rob Gagner (RG):

What, what's happening backstage is people

Rob Gagner (RG):

just want money from you?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Sometimes.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Ooh, that happens a lot of times.

Rob Gagner (RG):

A lot of times.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So the good ones get something you help here and there.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I just want the best for, like one of the goals for me and my brother is to

Jonas Santana (JS):

build houses for all of our workers.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Well, no wonder why they want something from you.

Rob Gagner (RG):

If you're promising them houses.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You got a job opening for me?

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

But we really want that, honestly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The, the- those people they don't get paid very well.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's be honest.

Rob Gagner (RG):

They don't?

Rob Gagner (RG):

I've always heard in the industry that rollers get paid really well.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If I pay them, very- if they get paid very well, that

Jonas Santana (JS):

cigar's gonna cost you at least 50 bucks

Rob Gagner (RG):

50?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Oh yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That can cost you that if they get paid well.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Well, if you compare it to Nicaragua, they get better pay.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, that's true.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you compare it to Cuba, even more.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I thought it was uh, Dominican rollers

Rob Gagner (RG):

or even Nicaraguan rollers.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Those are some of the best paying jobs in that country.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

What about 500 a month?

Rob Gagner (RG):

500 a month?

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's, that's fair.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I don't know.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I don't know what the cost of living is down there.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

That's not good for it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's not good?

Jonas Santana (JS):

No, they need to always work around

Jonas Santana (JS):

to really keep it move on.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Got loans here

Jonas Santana (JS):

and there.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're the first person I've ever talked to in the

Rob Gagner (RG):

industry that says, yeah, being a cigar roller doesn't pay very well.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Maybe because they wanna market it that way, but I don't,

Jonas Santana (JS):

they don't really get paid very well.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Not really.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Why do you think that is?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because in order to have this range of pricing, they

Jonas Santana (JS):

would need to get that type of payment.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's for example, do you think that the people that works at Apple, Chinese

Jonas Santana (JS):

people, that we pay $1,000 for our phone.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They get paid very well?

Rob Gagner (RG):

No, I, I, no.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I think there's a reason they're in another country

Rob Gagner (RG):

trying to get cheaper labor.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's the thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If we have, if we make cigars here in the U.S., they need to get

Jonas Santana (JS):

at least what, 500 bucks a week?

Jonas Santana (JS):

That cigar's gonna cost you like $100.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's the thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So there's a balance because of product, where you wanna be in price, and that

Jonas Santana (JS):

people's gonna be able to pay for it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If the Chinese work for Apple, get paid very well, that's

Jonas Santana (JS):

gonna be like $5,000, I think.

Rob Gagner (RG):

There's truth to that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's the thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So there's a, b- it's just to balance it out.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But, that doesn't mean that they need to get five times the

Jonas Santana (JS):

payment they get because their happiness is not too far, honestly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The thing is they are very bad financially.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They all drink, things like that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So...

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you think they're spending their money elsewhere.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So the big problem, actually, it starts because

Jonas Santana (JS):

of the education of the country.

Jonas Santana (JS):

My country's not, ver- it's not well educated.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So because they're not well well educated, they, the people that don't

Jonas Santana (JS):

get the best payments, they don't know how to manage the- their le- that,

Jonas Santana (JS):

that much of money that they have.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They don't have enough money, so they don't know how to handle it anyways.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So they spend it all.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like they get paid on a Friday, by Sunday, that's gone.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They live day by day.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Wow.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But that comes from the education that is not

Jonas Santana (JS):

gonna finish for years to come.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So they're not educated.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They know they need to, they know they get paid so, and so, they

Jonas Santana (JS):

don't, they're not good financially.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They're not good.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So they are always you know, in a deep hole.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Sure.

Jonas Santana (JS):

What about the people from Cuba?

Jonas Santana (JS):

How much do you think they get paid cigars?

Rob Gagner (RG):

I have no idea.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Those rollers, like five bucks a month, I think.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Or 20, I think.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Wow.

Jonas Santana (JS):

A month.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Those aren't cheap cigars.

Jonas Santana (JS):

What- the guys enjoying a very good cigar in

Jonas Santana (JS):

uh, in uh, Phantom, I don't know.

Jonas Santana (JS):

In a gold Rolls-Royce.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That guy over there got paid for 20 bucks a month.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's be honest.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Shedding a little light on the back s- back

Rob Gagner (RG):

stage, uh, behind the curtain.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I- in one way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yes.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I wanna charge more for the cigars, so I can pay them more.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yes.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I would love to do that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So they get paid more.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Do you think companies actually do that though?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Or do you think they pocket it for themselves?

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's a hard question, but the answer is yes.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yes?

Jonas Santana (JS):

They just wanna...

Rob Gagner (RG):

They pocket it?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Come on.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's be honest.

Jonas Santana (JS):

What do you think my brother and I wanna do some stuff with the- with the people?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Things that I would wanna do, honestly, and it's not because

Jonas Santana (JS):

I want big applause from people.

Jonas Santana (JS):

People I don't really care.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you want, if you wanna see what I do or no, I don't do to be watched.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I do to be happy inside.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I wanna have those rollers that have family, that I know they're not

Jonas Santana (JS):

gonna do well, at least to teach them English, pay some college or whatever

Jonas Santana (JS):

I help for as, as far as I can.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't want nothing in exchange.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Loyalty, maybe?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Maybe.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I hire you one day.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I want you to be thankful, but I don't want you to pay me back because this

Jonas Santana (JS):

guy right here, is gonna multiply in a lot of sense and it's not money.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Maybe it can come in money, but the best feeling that you can get is

Jonas Santana (JS):

when you are very calm inside of you.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Inner peace.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Inner peace.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's the best way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You feel confident.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you feel more confident and better about yourself

Rob Gagner (RG):

if you take that money and you make it affect people that need it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But let me tell you something before we actually

Jonas Santana (JS):

kind of don't understand the whole thing before you give happiness.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Honestly, you need to be happy first.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Okay?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because the only way you're gonna provide is

Jonas Santana (JS):

by you providing yourself first.

Rob Gagner (RG):

What if it makes me really happy to have

Rob Gagner (RG):

all that money in my pocket?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Money doesn't make you really happy, that happens,

Jonas Santana (JS):

but that means you are very, like, you're very empty inside.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Remember money's a tool.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So it's- if money's a tool, use it wisely.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Use it wisely.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you don't know what to do, if you think buying the best Champagne is

Jonas Santana (JS):

gonna make you happy, you're crazy.

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's the thing, you're so wise.

Jonas Santana (JS):

What you gonna do with that money?

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you, you would Call BS on their inner happiness.

Rob Gagner (RG):

If your inner happiness is filling yourself with stuff?

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're probably not very happy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't, I don't wanna focus my happiness in material stuff.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It ca- I can have so and so.

Jonas Santana (JS):

here and there.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I like the secure-ness, like, maybe I don't need to go out

Jonas Santana (JS):

to work anymore, like that...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Financial security.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Financial security, I like that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But at the end of the day, successful people, the money

Jonas Santana (JS):

never stop coming to them.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's always like that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They give that returns, again.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Well you can also be financially successful

Rob Gagner (RG):

and not be a good person.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That can- that well, you gonna have a very bad reputation

Jonas Santana (JS):

and you don't really know how much he fights with himself in his room.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Good point.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And they gonna be lonely.

Rob Gagner (RG):

See if he fights with hi- his inner, inner conscience.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You know how sad it is when you make a big party because you

Jonas Santana (JS):

are rich and you have 95% people that they just really like gold diggers of you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like you can't even trust anyone over there.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like you're making a big party to shine and make you happy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's be honest.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's be honest.

Jonas Santana (JS):

At the end of the day, people wanna do business with successful people.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

People wanna be close to the successful

Jonas Santana (JS):

people that always happen.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That always happens.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And they wanna learn from you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Some wanna learn just to take.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Some wanna learn to help you and them.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's what's gonna happen.

Jonas Santana (JS):

People come and go...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Good point.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The good ones is gonna stay.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The bad ones is gonna gone.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Is gonna be gone.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I learned the hard way, because at the beginning I was feeling,

Jonas Santana (JS):

uh, but nowadays, I'm cool.

Rob Gagner (RG):

What do you mean you learned the hard way?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Tell me more about that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

People like er- that I used to rely on before

Jonas Santana (JS):

they was not that good anymore.

Jonas Santana (JS):

People calling me just because they want something from me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Why you don't call me, and ask me, brother, you want a drink?

Jonas Santana (JS):

At least be smooth.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

You know?

Jonas Santana (JS):

No, but you Blackbird.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I need to sit down with you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Distribution.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Well, I don't know whatever they want.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You know, like we gotta be more, not only trained to take, because there's something

Jonas Santana (JS):

that you cannot put in paper money.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's your time.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Time is pretty valuable.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So there's something that my brother and I we talk a lot.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You cannot give away so easy,

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

...something that took time.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When you use money, actually, it's actually way easier.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Than when you invest your time and effort to make this happen,

Jonas Santana (JS):

that doesn't have a price.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So in order to give it to someone, a little bit those access that you have,

Jonas Santana (JS):

you need to give it little by little.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And even if you're- it's your son, he will need to earn it little by little.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So he can open the gates little by little, because at the end of the day, even

Jonas Santana (JS):

though I don't like it, everything that comes very fast, you don't respect it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I learned the hard way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like I don't even like to be that way, but I have to be that way because people don't

Jonas Santana (JS):

appreciate it the way it's supposed to be.

Rob Gagner (RG):

There's a lot of truth to that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I remember Garth Brooks, having his daughters build a bridge

Rob Gagner (RG):

on a property that he bought.

Rob Gagner (RG):

This is Garth Brooks, man.

Rob Gagner (RG):

The guy's got loads of money.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And he said that his, him and his daughters built that bridge.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Well, they did.

Rob Gagner (RG):

He mainly had the daughters build it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

He said it was the biggest accomplishment that they ever had

Rob Gagner (RG):

in their young adolescent life.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And they would celebrate that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And I thought that was like a good lesson of like, you know, if you want

Rob Gagner (RG):

something, you gotta work hard for it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And sometimes you gotta do it yourself and learn how to do it, to appreciate it

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Because, yeah, he could've had somebody just come in

Rob Gagner (RG):

and say, well, we're gonna build this bridge, so we can enjoy this other part

Rob Gagner (RG):

of the property that we wanna get to.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But having his daughters build it, made them appreciate the fact,

Rob Gagner (RG):

we worked hard on this land to make it what we wanted it to be.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

We made that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Something that like to to say is a lot of people tell you

Jonas Santana (JS):

whenever you need something, call me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But it's kind of like a polite way to tell you, we're good.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But not necessarily when you call them, they are there for you because they

Jonas Santana (JS):

are on their business doing something.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But the thing is, in my case, when I say that to you, I mean it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So use it wisely, [laughs] I mean it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You need something?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let me know.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah, but use it wisely, you said.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But use it wisely.

Rob Gagner (RG):

When you're in real need.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When you really need it, we can be friends.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I prefer to make friends in the process of working together or business

Jonas Santana (JS):

partnership or whatever than bring you as a fir- as a friend first.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Why is that?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because not, not all of them.

Jonas Santana (JS):

No, it's, It's not, it's nothing against anybody.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The thing is sometimes it's a little hard to divide friendship from work.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It happened to me when I used to work with the other company, because you need

Jonas Santana (JS):

to divide at the end of the day, there's a line right there, work and friendship.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If we're gonna work together, that's fine.

Jonas Santana (JS):

we can be- still be friends.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Maybe we're not gonna be friends anymore, but you can be good at your work.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That work out for me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Well, I prefer to be in the process because there's a- a respect

Jonas Santana (JS):

different, there's a different respect.

Jonas Santana (JS):

When you, when you make, when you be friends in the process than when you

Jonas Santana (JS):

come like a guy that already has 15, 20 years knowing you, they're gonna

Jonas Santana (JS):

treat you like friends and maybe they, they treat you in the ways that's

Jonas Santana (JS):

supposed to be in front of others.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Maybe?

Jonas Santana (JS):

That can happen.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's about the division.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm very- me and my brother are very like, if- maybe you, I'm gonna, let's

Jonas Santana (JS):

say, I'm gonna fire you but I'm gonna invite you for, for, for a drink today.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Maybe we cannot work together, but we can be friends.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Why not?

Jonas Santana (JS):

But not, a- I'm not, I cannot force anybody to be that way because

Jonas Santana (JS):

the thing is to be mature, you cannot teach anyone to be mature.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You get mature within time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And the things that happens to you.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And being aware.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So to be mature is a self stuff.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You have to be aware.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...to take in the maturity to take in...

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

...the lessons.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's what I've noticed.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's what it is.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You getting more mature every day?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't know.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Tell me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

I can't.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Because you have to be aware.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Are you aware?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I'm learning.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Why I think I'm getting mature?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because I'm getting to the point that I ask.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Hey, so, and so what do you think about this?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I used to do it this way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

What do you think now that you are the sales director, for example?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Brother so and so, now that you're the accountant that I used

Jonas Santana (JS):

to do this, did I did it right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Did I do it well?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't wanna feel like I'm the boss.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't like that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I'm the- I'm not the one that knows it all.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So when you have a team, they have information that probably you don't have.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They have experience that probably you don't have.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I think the best way, the wise way to make it happen is ask.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Be humble—that doesn't bring you down.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's actually bring you up.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Because when those guys are working and they feel that you're

Jonas Santana (JS):

not paying attention to what they say, and you just ask them, did I do it right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

What do you recommend me?

Jonas Santana (JS):

How are they gonna feel?

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's priceless.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Empowered.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

They're gonna feel good.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

And I love that they feel good.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

And I- and I- and at the same time, I have the information

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

that I needed in a positive way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

Done deal.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

I like to ask.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Everybody can grow from that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Exactly.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I, I like to ask, my brother is older than me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And wh- and when he's stepping in a zone that is not his

Jonas Santana (JS):

own, he call me and ask me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And he's older than me.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So if he's humble that much, why I cannot be?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's what it is.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Humble.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You gotta be humble.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But you cannot as I said, you cannot be mistaken by humble.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And there's another word.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like you- people think that if you're humble, you're supposed

Jonas Santana (JS):

to be, to say yes to everything.

Rob Gagner (RG):

No.

Jonas Santana (JS):

People, [laughs]-

Rob Gagner (RG):

Why, why would hu- Why would you, why do you

Rob Gagner (RG):

have to say yes to everything?

Rob Gagner (RG):

If you're humble?

Jonas Santana (JS):

People think that way.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I think for me, humble is like the arrogance, the ego you're

Rob Gagner (RG):

suppressing the ego for the greater good of what you know needs to happen.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But saying yes to stuff.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's inefficient.

Jonas Santana (JS):

People misunderstand humble.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you are poor, you're humble.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you are rich, you're not humble.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That happens to us- a lot.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So you forgot when I was mopping the floor.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And now that you see me in a Ferrari I'm not humble anymore?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Why, why?

Jonas Santana (JS):

So people make those mistakes.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Do you think that outward expression of luxury lavish

Rob Gagner (RG):

items can even still be humble?

Rob Gagner (RG):

You think that can happen?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Like you think you could be owning a Ferrari and owning a lot of

Rob Gagner (RG):

luxury things and still be humble?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But I think there's like kind of alignment, but let me tell you something.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If the most, you pay for a shoe is $100, and for that gentleman that is gonna

Jonas Santana (JS):

buy a Ferragamo shoe, it's gonna cost 695 and he feel it like a hundred bucks.

Jonas Santana (JS):

What's the big deal?

Rob Gagner (RG):

True.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Okay.

Jonas Santana (JS):

What's the big deal?

Jonas Santana (JS):

He feel it like that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But to me like a Ferrari is like a status symbol.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Like it's not practical.

Jonas Santana (JS):

No.

Rob Gagner (RG):

It's not-

Jonas Santana (JS):

No.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

...it's.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I don't know.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I think there's a fine line there of like too many luxury things.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I think that comes-

... Rob Gagner (RG):

hard to be humble.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I think that comes when, with the

Jonas Santana (JS):

dreams when you were a child.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Like you wanted that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Sure.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I think that comes from that

Rob Gagner (RG):

That could be, yeah, I could see that, but if

Rob Gagner (RG):

it's like, Hey, I just have so much money, I can own a Ferrari.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's like my Toyota Corolla.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I don't agree with that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

No.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I think humility has been lost on that person then.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But the thing is the guy that has a Ferrari must have another car.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Sure.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Must have it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I hope ga- I hope so.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Because man, if your only car's a Ferrari,

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

...you spent a lot on it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs] But I think you can be humble anyways.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You think so?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, because of the the thing is the cash flow

Jonas Santana (JS):

keeps going, things like that and you use some something here...

Rob Gagner (RG):

See and I just think they could've used the money in a better way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

They can use the money in a better way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But what if they already have everything they want?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah, Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I guess, you know, what if they already did, what if they already gave their

Rob Gagner (RG):

charity 10% or whatever they wanna give.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But the charity is not a must.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's if you wanna do it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's interesting that you said that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You don't think charity's a must?

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you- it it is, if you wanna ... If you feel a must,

Jonas Santana (JS):

you're not doing it with your heart.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you're doing it because you want the people to see you as a humble guy.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Okay.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So there's the difference though.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So...

Jonas Santana (JS):

Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Rob Gagner (RG):

...as a Christian, I think charity is a must because

Rob Gagner (RG):

that's what God calls me to.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Well, if you- we're gonna go what, the 10% that people give.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I don't really put a number on it, but I do, I

Rob Gagner (RG):

do think giving back is a must.

Rob Gagner (RG):

If I wanna get closer to my, my faith in, in God.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The, the, the thing is, God gave you . Libre

Jonas Santana (JS):

Forgot how to say that in English that you can do whatever you want.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And I forgot the, the name of it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But the thing is, I don't say it's a must because

Jonas Santana (JS):

it's subjective, but you are the one missing out if you don't do it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You get me now?

Rob Gagner (RG):

I hear that.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I just think it's a mu- I think it's something that you have to do in

Rob Gagner (RG):

order to, in order to truly listen to what he, how he wants you to live.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I think it's like a must of, like, I don't need these lavish things.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I should help somebody else out.

Jonas Santana (JS):

The thing is, if you don't, if you don't digest and you

Jonas Santana (JS):

understand what you're gonna get back when you give, you're not gonna probably

Jonas Santana (JS):

do it, or you're not gonna believe it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So you need to digest and understand how positive it is when you give.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Right.

Rob Gagner (RG):

But you're, you're also giving to not get anything back.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Other than, I mean, I suppose it makes you feel good.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It makes me feel good.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It makes me feel good.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Honestly, but I that's, that's my mentality.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I, I b- I don't think it's a must because you can do whatever you want, but when

Jonas Santana (JS):

you don't do it, you're missing out.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's a good way to put it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You're missing out.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Remember that's a- there's a- it says , honrar a tu padre y a tu madre.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's like when you respect your father and mother, how- what's

Jonas Santana (JS):

the proper way by the Bible?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Respect your father and mother.

Jonas Santana (JS):

For tha- that's one of the 10...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

...right?

Jonas Santana (JS):

And it's the only, the only one that has a promise from God, right?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Say that again.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's the only one that, that has a promise,

Jonas Santana (JS):

like if you do that, you're gonna be living for a long time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Remember?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I guess, I don't know if it has a promise.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's that's that's uh, in the Bible.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Okay.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But the thing is, it's up to you.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Sure.

Jonas Santana (JS):

But you're missing out if you don't do it.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you don't take care of your father and mother that spent a lot of time

Jonas Santana (JS):

to raise you, you're missing out if you don't, if you don't do it, if you

Jonas Santana (JS):

don't help them, when they need you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you don't help them.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I think that goes for all people.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That goes for all people.

Rob Gagner (RG):

It's really hard for us to, to really honor and love our enemy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's that, to me, that's the bigger promise.

Rob Gagner (RG):

It's pretty easy.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I say that with quotations, pretty easy to love your family.

Jonas Santana (JS):

It's pretty easy but some people...

Rob Gagner (RG):

Some people don't, but it's even harder then,

Rob Gagner (RG):

I would assume, to love your enemy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs] That's, I mean, of course.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Oh yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So that's where I wanna try to show that love.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You gotta show.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You gotta give love, but you need to love yourself first in order to give.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Oh, absolutely.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Because

Jonas Santana (JS):

it gotta shine from you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

That's the thing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You gotta look at you first.

Jonas Santana (JS):

How you feel, then then everything shine.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Good point.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

If you're not happy inside, how you gonna give happiness?

Rob Gagner (RG):

Exactly.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Very tough.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Very tough to give something that you don't feel.

Jonas Santana (JS):

There's no way.

Jonas Santana (JS):

There's no way.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I'm glad that you're a happy guy.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I tr- yeah, I'm a happy guy because...

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

... Jonas Santana (JS):

I enjoy what I do.

... Jonas Santana (JS):

I have fun doing it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's good.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I don't see this like a work.

Rob Gagner (RG):

That's awesome.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Especially because I be myself.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So I just joke around.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's do this.

Jonas Santana (JS):

What do you need?

Jonas Santana (JS):

Let's have a shot.

Jonas Santana (JS):

What do you wanna smoke?

Jonas Santana (JS):

You don't want nothing.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You want water on the rocks?

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

Don't worry?

Jonas Santana (JS):

I got water on the rocks.

Jonas Santana (JS):

So it's, you know, I like to hang out with them.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I love it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Jonas, you got it going on, man.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're a happy guy.

Rob Gagner (RG):

You're doing good things.

Rob Gagner (RG):

We appreciate you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Thank you.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Very, very much.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I love to see the brand out there and I love to smoke it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And I just love hearing your story, where you came from and how humble you are.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

Thank you for the invite.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

Thank you.

Jonas Santana (JS):

:

This actually was, was very different, very different.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Yeah.

Rob Gagner (RG):

We talked a lot about a lot of different things that you are not

Rob Gagner (RG):

gonna hear on any other platform.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yes, I can see that.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

[laughs]

Jonas Santana (JS):

I wanna do- I wanna do another one.

Jonas Santana (JS):

[laughs]

Rob Gagner (RG):

Absolutely, man.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Absolutely.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Yeah, Yeah.

Jonas Santana (JS):

I like it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

This was a lot of fun.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Thanks for giving me the time.

Jonas Santana (JS):

No.

Jonas Santana (JS):

Thank you, man.

Jonas Santana (JS):

You get to know me better now.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Absolutely.

Jonas Santana (JS):

And the way I think.

Rob Gagner (RG):

I hope you guys all learned a little something

Rob Gagner (RG):

about Jonas and obviously his brand.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And if you need anything from Blackbird Cigar Company, you

Rob Gagner (RG):

can go to BlackbirdCigar.com.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Obviously any retailer that carries this, please support him.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And as always get out there and get your for your humidors.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you can keep these cigars fresh.

Rob Gagner (RG):

They deserve it.

Rob Gagner (RG):

They spent a lot of time to make them for you.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So you, the least you can do is make sure you smoke it in the right,

Rob Gagner (RG):

right relative humidity level.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And as always, if you like this, give it a like.

Rob Gagner (RG):

Subscribe.

Rob Gagner (RG):

If you wanna hear more stories, we're continuing to bring these stories to you.

Rob Gagner (RG):

And as you saw Jonas and I talked a lot about the business

Rob Gagner (RG):

and a lot about not the business.

Rob Gagner (RG):

So we got to learn who he was as an individual and as

About the Podcast

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