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Franklin Pichardo Franklin Pichardo Franklin Pichardo Owner of To' Makao Cigar and cigar customizer View more Humidor A relaxing environment offering complimentary Coffee,
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Franklin Cigars

The Dominican Republic is an island known for its storied history for tobacco growers, rollers and blenders. Tamboril, Santiago on the Dominican Republic is often referred to as the ‘epicenter’ of cigar manufacturing, housing more cigar factories and rollers than anywhere else on the planet. Arturo Fuente Cigar Company is among the many cigar companies that call the Dominican Republic home.

Entombed deep below industry giants emerged a young man by the name of Franklin Pichardo. Unaware of his hidden talent, Pichardo was a 16-year-old boy relegated to washing cars in Santiago. He didn’t know the first thing about tobacco – until a dear friend changed his life forever. “A very good friend of mine, Andres Belliard, said to me one day, ‘Hey young man, do you want to start rolling cigars?’” Pichardo said. “I told him, ‘Sure. Nothing is impossible. Let’s try.’ So I did.”

That was 1995. Today Pichardo celebrates 21 years in the cigar industry, including the first 15 with Arturo Fuente as an Opus X roller (Tabaquero).

The Arturo Fuente Opus X cigar is one of the most highly regarded cigars in the world. It is the benchmark for which many cigar companies use to measure excellence, and Pichardo was one of the chosen few who had the opportunity to roll the majesty of the industry.

“I am a lucky guy because not many people can make the Opus X,” explained Pichardo. “The Fuente family is very careful and selective of whom they choose to roll the Opus X. They hand select a few of the best rollers in the world who they can trust handling the Opus tobacco.”

From neophyte to master, Pichardo, like all Fuente cigar rollers, attended the Fuente school of cigar rolling. He underwent a rigorous hands-on regimen where he learned about tobacco and how to cut, roll and control the leaf. He also saw firsthand, just how meticulous the Fuente family is about quality control, especially with their beloved Opus X.

“The Fuente school is one of the best schools in the world to make cigars,” Pichardo boasted. “They taught me and I didn’t know anything about tobacco.”

To become an Opus X roller, one has to have relaxed hands, very delicate, flexible fingers and a gentle touch. Pichardo’s natural-born talents were quickly discovered early in his training. He was chosen to join the existing 28 privileged tabaqueros as the only persons in the factory allowed to handle the delicate, highly-selective tobacco used exclusively for the Opus X cigars.

“If you work for Fuente you have to be highly qualified and precise. You have to control the leaf very well,” explained Pichardo. “You have to have concentration, love and passion if you want to make Opus X.”

Pichardo made one particular cigar throughout his entire tenure with Arturo Fuente Cigars – the Opus X Perfecxion #2. “From the beginning to my last day there, I can say they gave me the opportunity to learn and only make Opus X Perfexcion #2,” Pichardo pointed out. The Perfecxion #2 is an impeccably crafted cigar that is absolutely stunning. It is a 6 3/8 x 52-ring pyramid vitola. It is a highly sought after cigar that has earned numerous accolades and high ratings since its 1995 debut.

The Opus X cigar is a ‘special cigar that requires special attention.’ The blend is a top secret recipe of more than seven different tobaccos shrouded in an extremely delicate, ultra-rare Dominican wrapper leaf grown exclusively on the Fuente farm. In fact, 75% of all the tobacco grown on the Fuente farm is reserved for the Opus X cigars.

Today, Franklin Pichardo owns and operates his own cigar lounge, https://tomakaocigars.com/ in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They regularly stock a large selection of Opus X, Anejo and other hard-to-find Fuente cigars. He also hosts events where he rolls one-of-a-kind artisan cigars personalized for each guest in attendance. “It feels like there is a piece of Fuente in my shop,” expressed Pichardo. “I have to thank the Fuente family for the great opportunity that I have with my shop. All that I am right now is because I come from there.”

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Premium Cigars

We proudly house the largest and freshest selection of Premium Cigars in Bethlehem, pa. Our legacy began in 2013 when we turned a small cigar boutique in the world famous Lehigh Valley South side, into a beautiful location filled with the finest selection of premium cigars. Come satisfy your palate with an array of perfectly aged, flawless cigars. From the dark, oily and rich Arturo Fuente opus x to the ashton vsg sun grown, there is something for everyone here at To’ Makao Fine Cigars

Premium Cigars

We proudly house the largest and freshest selection of Premium Cigars in Bethlehem, pa. Our legacy began in 2013 when we turned a small cigar boutique in the world famous Lehigh Valley South side, into a beautiful location filled with the finest selection of premium cigars. Come satisfy your palate with an array of perfectly aged, flawless cigars. From the dark, oily and rich Arturo Fuente opus x to the ashton vsg sun grown, there is something for everyone here at To’ Makao Fine Cigars

Freshest Selection
Of Premium Cigars

Shop now

Our Focus

Custom ciagr bands with your corporate logo or event name is a great way to brand your event, promote your company, and make a regular party a memorable celebration for any occasion

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Craftsmanship

We know the importance of a wedding or any occasion for that matter. That is why our founder, frankin, hand crafts each cigar that will have you in awe. With over 15 years in the business, we can guarantee the best quality with each puff.
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High Quality

All of our products are only made from the best of the best materials, products, and craftsmanship. Whether it is the making of the cigar itself or the leaf, we supply with the best quality.
null

Affordable

When working with us, we can assure you a great cigar at any price point. With extensive and expertise in this field, our expert will guide to you for your cigar selection.

Our Focus

Custom ciagr bands with your corporate logo or event name is a great way to brand your event, promote your company, and make a regular party a memorable celebration for any occasion

null

Craftsmanship

We know the importance of a wedding or any occasion for that matter. That is why our founder, frankin, hand crafts each cigar that will have you in awe. With over 15 years in the business, we can guarantee the best quality with each puff.
null

High Quality

All of our products are only made from the best of the best materials, products, and craftsmanship. Whether it is the making of the cigar itself or the leaf, we supply with the best quality.
null

Affordable

When working with us, we can assure you a great cigar at any price point. With extensive and expertise in this field, our expert will guide to you for your cigar selection.

Customize your rare cigar

With our master roller

Franklin Pichardo

This is a work of art made by our master roller Franklin Pichardo using the talent developed during 25 years of experience in the cigar world.  We dedicate these truly rare cigars to the true amateur.

Come by our store and find your own custom cigar

View more

Customize your rare cigar

With our master roller

Franklin Pichardo

This is a work of art made by our master roller Franklin Pichardo using the talent developed during 25 years of experience in the cigar world.  We dedicate these truly rare cigars to the true amateur.

Come by our store and find your own custom cigar

View more

Testimonials

A relaxing environment offering rich espresso and coffee, relaxing music, fun and friendly staff, and plenty of comfortable sofas to relax in. Smoke. Drink. Talk. Study. Lounge with us

The cigars was amazing with hot coffee! Definitely coming back.”

Michael Rose

“Super Delicious cigars to lounge with friends! I recommend this place.”

Lisa James

“I was thoroughly impressed! Fantastic selection of Cigars.”

Jason Bran

The cigars was amazing with hot coffee! Definitely coming back.”

Michael Rose

“Super Delicious cigars to lounge with friends! I recommend this place.”

Lisa James

“I was thoroughly impressed! Fantastic selection of Cigars.”

Jason Bran

Blog & News

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Warning: Cigar smoking can cause cancers of the mouth and throat, even if you do not inhale.

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We are proud to house the largest and freshest selection of premium quality flawless and perfectly aged cigars

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We are proud to house the largest and freshest selection of premium quality flawless and perfectly aged cigars

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