As a sixteen-year-old, Franklin Pichardo had no idea his future would lie in the cigar industry. He was making an honest living washing cars in Santiago when he stumbled upon the opportunity to learn from some legendary names and develop his craft as a cigar professional.
He had no idea what he was getting into until his friend Andres Belliard asked him one fateful day, “Hey young man, do you want to start rolling cigars?” Despite the uncertainty of it all, Pichardo took a leap of faith and replied with enthusiasm, "Sure! Nothing is impossible. Let's try." Little did he know that this decision in 1995 would change his life forever.
After two decades of hard work, Pichardo is proud to have achieved 22 years in the cigar industry, especially for his first 15 spent as a master roller with Arturo Fuente's Opus X brand.
While at Arturo Fuente cigars, Pichardo proudly crafted one cigar: the Opus X Perfexcion #2. "I was able to learn and grow through this experience," he noted with a sense of accomplishment. The result is nothing short of amazing - an immaculately constructed 6 3/8 x 52-ring pyramid vitola that truly stands out from the crowd!
The Opus X Cigars has been an undeniable success since its debut in 1995, earning immense respect and praise from cigar connoisseurs. This unique blend is a prized secret recipe of more than seven distinct tobaccos carefully wrapped with the rarest Dominican wrapper found exclusively on the Fuente Farm. 75% of all tobacco grown on this farm is reserved solely for these cigars! A true rarity that must be savored with utmost attention to detail.
Franklin Pichardo proudly runs TóMakao Fine Cigars in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a cigar lounge consistently offering an impressive variety of Opus X, Anejo, and other rare Fuente cigars. He additionally arranges events where he hand-rolls customized artisan cigars for each individual present.
Pichardo exclaimed, “It's almost like Fuente is part of my shop! I'm eternally grateful to the Fuentes for giving me this unique chance. Everything I have achieved today thanks to them and their support."