Jul 14th, 2023
La Aurora is the oldest and most iconic cigar factory in the Dominican Republic, with a rich history behind it. The company was founded on October 3rd, 1903, by Eduardo León Jimenes, a hardworking man who hailed from a long line of tobacco growers. In line with the family tradition, he continued the livelihood of his father and grandfather but took it one step further, creating a cigar brand that would have a huge global impact. With over 100 years under its belt, La Aurora is still one of the most successful cigar brands in the world.
Under the leadership of Eduardo’s grandson, Guillermo León, he continues to operate as if each employee were part of his family, and one of those family members also happens to be his daughter, Michelle, who represents the sixth generation of León family members who have worked at the company.
Following in the tradition of working with cigars, Michelle León, is helping to take the organization into the future in ways that her previous relatives could not have dreamed of: digital media.
Although raised around this exceptional craftsmanship that her relatives have always been passionate about, Michelle made a name for herself in the tobacco industry when she started interning at La Aurora. Michelle says, “ While I had the opportunity to rotate through different departments, it was the factory store that truly captivated me. I loved interacting with customers, but most importantly, I learned a lot about our product portfolio.”
After earning her double degree in Marketing and International Business, Michelle took the initiative to create the La Aurora digital marketing department. She realized social media was a huge untapped market and one of the main content channels for La Aurora customers. The marketing maven expands, “Social media serves as a tool that enables us to understand and connect with our existing and potential customers. Through our online presence, we can effectively manage our brands' image, reputation, and authority.”
Today, Michelle acknowledges that the tobacco industry is extremely competitive and requires innovative marketing strategies. On a day-to-day basis, her team analyzes the digital presence of their brands and assesses customer engagement. Creative thinking is a significant part of this process, as it helps them develop strategies that continuously keep them connected to their customer base.
When asked what she finds most fulfilling about her job, Michelle says her favorite activity is “The process of transforming our ideas into meaningful and measurable results for La Aurora is my main satisfaction.” Beyond the commitment and tasks that come with coordinating the digital media department, there’s a greater meaning in working with La Aurora for this entrepreneur.
“There is a sense of responsibility that I carry on my shoulders as not just the fourth generation producing cigars, but the sixth in the tobacco business of the León Family. I take great pride in being a member of this family, which is known for its honesty and perseverance and for being part of a legacy built on dedication and hard work. This deepens my commitment to give continuity to those values that have shaped me and honor the many generations that gave their bodies and souls to the tobacco world with my actions.”
“I take great pride in being a member of this family, which is known for its honesty and perseverance and for being part of a legacy built on dedication and hard work.”
Picking the best La Aurora blend is tough since there are so many premium options to choose from, and Michelle agrees. She delivers her final verdict, saying, “ It is very difficult for me to choose only one cigar, but I think that I share this feeling with many cigar lovers and enthusiasts. Nonetheless, the cigar that I choose to smoke the most is the León Jimenes Series 300.
What I like the most about this blend is that it is a mild-strength cigar with fine notes of cocoa and cinnamon. Personally, I like soft flavors and spice notes.” Anyone who enjoys similarly warm flavors and scent profiles can check out more details here.
Whether you’re a cigar connoisseur or newly introduced to the world of stogies, everyone has a different opinion on the best way to enjoy a cigar. But according to this La Aurora expert, there are no strict rules anyone needs to adhere to when smoking a stogie. Michelle offers her two cents, sharing, “There are people who believe that lighting up a cigar is synonymous with celebrating, and others have the habit of smoking daily. In my opinion, any occasion is the perfect occasion to light up and smoke.”
With the help of Michelle León, it is evident that the organization is in great hands. She is paving the way for the next generation to not only contribute to the La Aurora family but contribute in a manner fitting for their individual skills. Which will ensure success for many generations to come.
“There are people who believe that lighting up a cigar is synonymous with celebrating, and others have the habit of smoking daily. In my opinion, any occasion is the perfect occasion to light up and smoke.”