I first met Orlando on Facebook after someone had commented on our show that we should book him on HBTC Live. Never heard of this Orlando guy, but I reached out and I’m glad I did. When I say this guy has personality, it doesn’t do it justice. When I say O has an infectious smile and laugh, it doesn’t do it justice. Rick White, Ralph Salazar with Orlando Gee make up the ownership of Divine Leaf Cigars Headquartered in South Carolina, but most of the work is done in Fresno CA.
In 2015 Orlando and crew started making cigars for themselves and they did something special out of the gate. Soon friends, family and church leaders were looking for more of their stash. They decided to go all in. Within a year they had their own factory in Nicaragua and a handful of blends and started a slow roll in marketing by word of mouth. They never anticipated the response or demand they created.
Within a few years and many test blends the Divine Leaf came out with the OG2, a semi truck of flavor and strength. “We want to punch you in the face with flavor!” said Orlando when talking about how he likes to blend their cigars. Ralph, however is the mad scientist. Ralph asked if you could roll a cigar inside of a cigar, and with one phone call to their blender and magician in Nicaragua, they created just that. With out of the box thinking and master craftsmen at the helm, they continued to innovate and create cigars that are not only unique, but delicious.
After meeting Orlando, Matt and I were excited to have him on the Show. November 24th we featured Divine Leaf with Orlando and Ralph. For as blessed as Matt and I have been to have some of the big names and rock stars of the industry on the show, it is truly an honor to have the new guys or up and comers on the show. It was clear that these guys didn’t start Divine Leaf to make a buck. They are lovers of the leaf and cigar culture. They are constantly tweaking and asking for feedback from their regular crew as well as Matt and I and other industry people. The Divine crew has always been good at receiving feedback and recommendations from outsiders.
2020 was good to Divine Leaf and they saw significant growth. The crew continues to innovate and think outside of the box, play around, do some crazy stuff and see what sticks. Not to cheapen their process, because they have the fundamentals down, they only break stride when Orlando or Ralph have some crazy idea leaving Rick to look to the sky and say “Lawd give me strength!”
In February Divine Leaf launched a subscription service offering a great value to consumers. More info can be found here.
I have been blessed to watch Divine Leaf grow over this last year from a unique perspective. I’m excited to see where they go from here and what crazy ideas they have in store for us! Below is a peak of some of the new lines they plan on launching over the next year!