Siegfried Maruschke Sr., the owner of the large tobacco growing and brokerage operation Jose Mendez & Co S.R.L. in the Dominican Republic, passed away on January 29, 2023. He was 83 years old.
Maruschke’s father-in-law, Jose “Pepe” Mendez was the founder of the company. Mendez left Cuba following the Cuban Revolution of 1959 and would go on to start his Dominican-based company. In 1972, Maruschke Sr. would marry Mendez’s daughter Mercedes and would join the family business. In recent years, Maruschke Sr. and his son Siegfried Maruschke Jr. have run the company.
While Jose Mendez & Co S.R.L. may not be a name known to many cigar consumers, it is extremely well-known and respected within the cigar industry when it comes to tobacco. The company is known to supply Altadis USA with many different Dominican tobaccos. A few years ago, Jose Mendez & Co S.R.L. garnered some headlines when Altadis USA released several cigars using a tobacco called Pilotico. This was grown in Cuba. When Mendez fled Cuba, he took the Cuban seed with him. Under Maruschke, Sr’s leadership, the Pilotico seed was grown and used on several releases by Altadis USA. These cigars included the Montecristo 80th Anniversary, Montecristo Pilotico Pepe Mendez, H. Upmann Connecticut Grupo de Maestros, and the H. Upmann Hispaniola Toro by José Méndez