The story of ACE Prime and Tabacalera Pichardo
ACE Prime Cigars is a vertically integrated business that includes tobacco farming, aging, cigar production, and distribution. Tabacalera Pichardo is our factory in Estelí (Nicaragua) and was founded by Don. Eradio Pichardo, in 2005.
ACE Prime Cigars is the vision of three friends with a deep pedigree in cigar manufacturing, who are passionate about creating the finest cigars for everybody to enjoy.
Luciano Meirelles is a global entrepreneur in several fields who established himself in the cigar industry, initially working with the government of the Dominican Republic to successfully introduce tax exemptions to some European and South American countries. Luciano was mentored by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo into the cigar business and has maintained that deep relationship for many years. As an L2 Sommelier and experienced cigar Master Blender, Luciano has an outstanding palette and in-depth knowledge of cigars. He has a strong reputation for revealing unique cigar insights and providing remarkable pairing experiences. Luciano and Don. Eradio Pichardo became partners of the Tabacalera Pichardo in 2008.
Don. Eradio Pichardo is fourth-generation tobacconist: heir to more than a century and a half of knowledge in the world of tobacco. Before establishing himself in Nicaragua, Don. Pichardo worked for Habanos SA (Cuba) for many years and became known as being responsible for the Partagas Blends such as E2 and D4. As the founding partner of our factory Tabacalera Pichardo, Don. Pichardo is respected as a true cigar artist. His fingerprint is across our farms to our factories.
Tiago Splitter is an athlete, humanitarian, and cigar aficionado. Splitter was born in Brazil and began his career at the age of 14 when he was recruited to play professional basketball in Spain. As an outstanding young player, Tiago received many European awards and was drafted to the NBA. In 2014 Tiago Splitter became an NBA Champion with the San Antonio Spurs and is currently a coach with the Brooklyn Nets.
Tiago Splitter and Luciano Meirelles have a relationship that predates ACE Prime, and Tiago tells the story of how after their Championship victory, a box of cigars turned up for him and the players – it was from Luciano. Their relationship developed through a mutual church connection, and they have continued to grow close over the years. Tiago became one of the co-owners of Tabacalera Pichardo and co-founders of ACE Prime, and he is passionate about the business of improving lives and producing the finest cigars in the world.
Tabacalera Pichardo has developed an outstanding reputation for producing some of the finest cigars in the world. The Tabacalera Pichardo philosophy is an integrated approach; growing (or sourcing) the very best tobacco, the most delicate processing, and aging, developing the highest skilled manufacturing and investing in the people and local communities.
Over the past decade and a half, many award-winning and highly rated cigars have been developed by Tabacalera Pichardo.
ACE Prime launched its inaugural cigar range at IPCPR 2019 (now PCA) and was the hit of the show. The company received high profile support from the industry, attendees, and media. The convention in Las Vegas not only showcased the high-quality cigars but also highlighted the market enthusiasm with a record number of new accounts opened and orders placed.
The ACE Prime family of cigars includes MXS (featuring a Special Signature Series with NBA superstars, Dominique Wilkins, and Tiago Splitter), Luciano (The Traveler), and Pichardo Cigars. ACE Prime will also be releasing new blends and cigars lines in 2020, including a new MXS Signature Series Cigar, with the big-hitting baseball legend, Adrián González.