You’ve heard the expression haven’t you? “It was the best of times…it was the worst of times” It’s that time of the year, every year, right before, during and after the IPCPR Annual Cigar Trade Show that companies make changes. The first casualty in the industry appears to be EO Brands. EO Brands was formed 8 years ago by Erick Espinosa (He’s the E) and Eddie Ortega (He’s the O). They came out with REO and VIBE brands made by Rocky Patel. That’s when the story starts.
Fast forward 5 years later, EO Brands introduces the 601 brand along with Cubao and Marcielago all made by made by Don Pepin Garcia in his My Father Cigar Factory in Nicaragua. EO Brand starts getting more attention and then enters Rocky Patel.
Just 2 years ago, Rocky Patel takes over distribution, a face lift and adds La Bomba (a Firecracker rip off, but don’t get me started). All seemed to be going well with more distribution and a big launch but everything wasn’t as it appeared.
Today EO Brands if officially out of business. The partnership is over and like a marriage gone bad the brands have been divided and no longer will Rocky Patel be handling any of the distribution or handling any of the brands.
Eddie Ortega takes with him the Cubao, REO and Vibe brands to his new Ortega Cigar Company. Eric Espinosa takes with him the 601 and Mercielago brand to his new Espinosa Premium Cigar Company…and as for Rocky Patel…he apparently gets 50% of nothing!
So what really happened? Who did what and who got screwed? We may never hear the real story but as for EO Brands – it’s all over.
It’s that time of the year…when we see companies break up, reps get booted out, prices go up and new brands and companies get launched. It’s the best of times and the worst of times…it’s that time of the year.