According to Michael Chiusano, founder of Cusano cigars, the loyal Cusano fan base consists of “the everyday smoker, not the weekend warrior,” since this is the case they cater to the aficionado’s wallet.
The name Cusano is derived from the founder’s surname, Chiusano. Chiusano is an Italian American who grew up in New York, but he knew the possibility of having his last name butchered was more common than not. Chiusano decided to drop the “h” and “i” since they are silent in the Italian pronunciation.
Chiusano is a modern-day renaissance man. Joining the tobacco industry was not in his original plan. His first career venture was as a chemist, he soon found his talent was crunching numbers and started working on Wall Street.
In 1995, Chiusano was a pension fund manager for Shearson Lehman. He flew down to the Dominican Republic and brought back unbranded cigars. He made his own label for them and showed them to David Garafalo, who owned the cigar lounge Chiusano frequented, Two Guys Smoke Shop.
Cusano was one of the many brands to start during the cigar industry boom in the 90’s. The brand was made under a family co-venture, DomRey Cigars Inc. which was co-operated by Michael’s brother Joe.
Chiusano developed a relationship with the famed tobacco guru, Henke Kelner. Kelner was commissioned to produce the Cusano cigars and have been responsible for their productions since 1997. The production is held under Occidental Cigars located in the Dominican Republic.
Cusano cigars were ranked on of the best buys in 2007. Since then they have received various accolades including a few 90+ ratings.
By 2008 the brothers had expanded their business overseas with their D.R. Global S.A. Cusano venture. They built a manufacturing center in the Free Trade Zone in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
The growing success of the brand drew the attention of one of the cigar industry’s biggest leader, Oettinger Davidoff Group. In an effort to expand their portfolio, Davidoff procured Cusano cigars in 2009.
Cusano cigars are no longer under the management of the brothers who first found it. Michael left less than a year after Davidoff gained ownership and Joe left in 2011. Now Davidoff’s director of marketing, Dylan Austin, is in charge of managing the Cusano brand.
In 2016, the brand was relaunched after being dormant for over two years. The first release was a Dominican blend with an Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut wrapper. This aficionado favorite was followed by a Dominican Maduro and a Nicaraguan cigar with a Mexican San Andrés negro wrapper.
Cusano cigars offer a whole lot of bang for very few bucks. The level of quality and the profiles of the blends are unparalleled in its price range. A Cusano is perfect for an aficionado with a seasoned taste preference who is trying to get the most out of every dollar.