In this cigar conversation from the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show, I talk with Tracie Southern.  Tracie is working for an up and coming boutique company called J & D Cigars.

J & D Cigars is a true “seed to store” company.  The company was founded by David Insignares and Jorge Gil.  Insignares
and Gil have a great deal of experience in the cigar industry.  
Insignares operates out of Miami, Florida while Gil is a master grower
who operates tobacco farms in Esteli Nicaragua.  They have their own factory where the company employs several “Grade 9” torcedores (i.e. rollers – with Grade 9 being the highest level that is achieved).  Tracie came on board several months ago to help with the company’s marketing operations. 

J & D is still a new player in the cigar industry, and Tracie explains a little of the learning process the company has gone through. Tracie then takes us through the two lines of products – Temptation and Allure. 

Tracie is well-known in many circles in the cigar industry.  We then get into a little discussion on Tracie’s background as she has worked with many of the industry’s best people.  

Tracie then takes us through a very personal battle she has been enduring with Parkinson’s Disease for the past few years.  This is something Tracie had gone public with only two weeks before the IPCPR Trade Show.   She has gotten great support from the cigar industry.  She currently will be undergoing an experimental stem cell treatment.  A facebook page has been setup called “Puff 4 Parkinsons“.  She talks specifically how cigars have become a mechanism to help slow down the rate of the disease.   For all of the grief the cigar industry takes, once again this effort is another example how the cigar industry comes together.

The conversation wraps up with a discussion on industry trends.  This discussion includes the role of the boutique companies and women in the cigar industry.

Special thanks to Tracie and David Insignares of J & D for taking time at a busy show to sit down for this cigar conversation.