Jesus Lara-Perez he is our cigar roller from cuba (CigArtist)
Cuban-born, Jesus Lara Perez has been rolling cigars for most of his life and has been displaying his skills for more than a year now at the Havana Vieja Restaurant and Cigar Lounge on West Bay Road. When you enter the restaurant, 66-year-old Jesus will always be there to greet you and the in-house torcedor (cigar roller) has become a popular figure with the regular customers.
Jesus started working when he was 14 years old in the Cuban cigar factory La Isolina in Santa Clara and has also worked in Quintero, Hoyo De Monterey, La Corona, Partagas and Cohiba. After years of practice and perfecting his skill, Jesus was put in charge of all the cigar rollers in the factory.
Thanks to his work, Jesus has had the opportunity to travel the world, meeting numerous famous people. He has worked in and visited a wide range of countries including Venezuela, Mexico, Italy, England, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Spain and the Bahamas. While working in Spain for six months, he attended an international convention where he was given the honour of rolling a cigar for the King of Spain. A picture of their meeting hangs in the Havana Vieja Lounge.
Also, at a convention in Paris, he rolled a cigar for the First Lady of France (there is no record that she ever smoked it) and in England, Jesus met Winston Churchillís granddaughter. Havana Vieja Restaurant and Cigar Lounge is the culmination of a dream for owner, Raglan Roper. In the late 1980s, he and his crew sailed from Florida to Grand Cayman via Cuba. It was then that he fell in love with the island, its people and most certainly the cigars. He started on a small scale, selling by word of mouth and was so successful that it became necessary to open a store to house his cigars.Mr Roperís love of all things Cuban is abundantly evident in his upscale restaurant and lounge.