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Origin story of Every Day Is Cigar Day

Paul (left) & Andrius (right) in tobacco field

A DIVORCE, a cigar epiphany, a worldwide pandemic and a near-death experience – this is the furnace in which Every Day Is Cigar Day was forged.


Beginning and first trip to Nicaragua

Until 2018, Andrius Petrucenia had never even smoked a handrolled cigar. Now he lives in Estelí, Nicaragua, and runs/co-owns company making them. Back in 2018, the then five-star hotel concierge allowed himself to be reluctantly persuaded to attend a London cigar tasting which changed his life. “It just blew me away, totally carried me away,” says, Andrius, from his base in the cigar-making capital of the world, Estelí. “I’d never experienced anything like it and just like that, I was hooked on finding out everything there was to know about cigars.”

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The previous year had not been an easy one. Andrius’ marriage had broken down, and he had begun to recognise a gradual but increasing disillusionment with his one-time dream job. An invitation from a friend in the cigar business – Roy Sommer, Managing Director of Davidoff UK – introduced him to a whole new world. Arranged by the Nicaraguan Embassy in the UK, the trip took a small group to enjoy the highlights of Nicaragua – including cigar manufacture. It also introduced Andrius to his future business partner, who was part of the group – Paul Anthony of Bespoke Unit men’s magazine.

“We immediately hit it off,” Andrius said. “Paul has been into cigars since 2012 and had built one of the web’s finest resources for cigar smokers. He’d previously travelled to other cigarmaking nations and had made a wonderful YouTube documentary called From Seed To Smoke, based on a trip to Davidoff, so it was exciting to meet and talk with him.” Everything about that trip left a lasting impression.

Return to land of volcanos

A few short months later, Covid struck. When they could, Andrius and Paul met in London, and at one of these meetings, it was suggested that Andrius return to Nicaragua to explore options there instead of hanging around in locked down London for second time. Days later, he was boarding a plane. “I travelled with a good friend of mine to Costa Rica, where we planned to cross the land border into Nicaragua,” he said. “We were stopped in our tracks by a hurricane. For several days, we were confined to our hotel - but eventually we headed for Estelí.

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Andrius arrived in Estelí with no more than a few passing acquaintances pencilled in his contacts book. And he methodically went through them all. “I spoke to everyone and anyone connected with cigars I could think of,” he says. “And while they were sympathetic, I was still no further forward after several months.” As 2021 came, Andrius was still knocking on cigar factory doors. But a major breakthrough came when he met Roni Aragon, a Cuban immigrant who owned his own boutique factory in Nicaragua’s cigar city. The two formed a strong bond – and, finally, things began to fall into place. Aragon needed help with his growing business; Andrius needed a mentor.


Every day at 5am, the pair would meet, head out to Condega where Aragon had just bought his own tract of land, and set to work in getting a tobacco farm in place – from scratch. At lunchtime, they would head back to Estelí and Aragon’s factory, where they worked on making cigars. “Those first six months, side by side with Roni, were just magical,” says Andrius. “It was not only wonderful to work so closely with a master blender in his own factory, getting unrivalled access to his thoughts and process, but also helping to set up a new tobacco farm from scratch. Looking back now, the amount I learned during this time was unbelievable. I can’t thank Roni enough for taking me under his wing.”


COVID and great breakout 

All during this time, Paul and Andrius remained in constant contact, finally arranging to meet in Estelí. The trip went well, visiting the new home factory together for the first time and catching up with friends. Then life turned upside down. “To cut a long story short, Paul caught Covid,” says Andrius. “He was hospitalised and ended up on the verge of death with double pneumonia and metabolic shock. It was horrendous.” Literally breaking Paul out of a quarantined Nicaraguan hospital in order to get him treatment he desperately needed, Andrius and his friends nursed the English-American entrepreneur back to health. Understandably, a concrete bond was formed between the pair after several months of convalescence, and as soon as Paul was given the green light to travel again in November, he left Nicaragua. Before he left, the pair vowed this would not be the end of their cigar venture.


The next chapter came sooner than they thought. A friend of Paul’s mentioned he needed a bespoke high-quality cigar for a prestigious members club in America. Time was short – but Andrius put his new-found knowledge to the test. “I had to manage the project from start to finish,” he said. “The custom blend revisions, box, band, shipping and paperwork. I also felt I was using some of the skills from my former life as a head concierge at five-star hotels; connecting all the dots and making sure the client had no worries, just a great product.” The event was an unparalleled success, with the cigars going down a storm. All available boxes were sold – Andrius was even asked to sign them. It was vindication of all his hard work and the vision that had seen both him and Paul come this far.

Inception, present and future of EDICD

At the end of the American trip, the two sat down to discuss life and what came next. Both believed that by combining their complimentary skills, there was a market opportunity to create a premium cigar sold direct to the consumer. This was designed not to replace the value and sheer camaraderie offered by cigar stores and lounges across the US; but to offer another avenue for those who wanted to enjoy cigars more frequently without breaking the bank. “We were trying to think up names for our new venture,” says Andrius. “Nothing we came up with quite captured what we wanted it to. During the pandemic, I had launched a Reddit community called Every Day Is Cigar Day to keep in touch with fellow cigar smokers while I was away and many of the group members had enjoyed following my many trials and tribulations of getting established in the industry from a standing start. It seems so obvious now, but when I mentioned it to Paul, it made perfect sense to both of us. Every Day Is Cigar Day was born.


Within weeks, the pair had narrowed down their initial four core blends and decided which vitolas best showcased their tobaccos. Everything was managed in-house, from logo design to website and packaging. Inevitably, there were obstacles in the road and delays along the way – including a long one, waiting for a box shipment from China. But, eventually, launch day arrived. “Paul and I were very keen to get this project live and share it at last with the world,” says Andrius. “Everything finally fell into place on Feb 13, 2023 – and we launched the very next day. The response has been very gratifying, and the learning never stops. We both can’t wait to see where the brand takes us in the next few years.”

Core Line – White Label

Blends are:
                         • Connecticut
                         • Barber Pole (Connecticut and Habano)
                         • Ecuadorian Habano
                         • Maduro

All come in 16-count boxes, with all seven vitolas available in samplers of four of each blend. First-time customers can also buy a four-pack toro sampler with one of each blend. Each box – unusually, for Nicaragua – is stamped with the month and year of rolling, and all cigars are aged for a minimum of three months before leaving the factory. Furthermore, each box or sampler comes with a 69% relative humidity Boveda pack inside to ensure the cigars arrive in perfect smoking condition.

Factory Specials – Silver Line Coming Soon…

As the founders of Every Day Is Cigar Day live and work in Estelí, they never know who they will bump into next. There are scores of factories in the handrolled cigarmaking capital of the world, and from time to time, over-runs, side projects and limited editions become available. Exclusive access to these will be offered as and when they surface, at prices greatly reduced from retail.

Partners – Gold Line Coming Soon…

Each factory has its own personality; each master blender has a different palate, expertise, experience and access to different tobaccos. With both founders having been in and around the industry for many years, living where it matters in Estelí, they plan to access some of these great minds and tobacco – and create something unique. Watch this space… Andrius and Paul hope you have enjoyed a little of their origin story. Keep an eye out for them on podcasts, YouTube channels and other media to keep an eye on them and join them on their journey. They hope to entertain, enlighten and educate along the way – and, of course, to provide great cigars to smoke each and every day!