Posted on: August 17, 2015
By: Carmen Sesin
MIAMI, FL — When Afro-Cuban-American twin sisters Yvette and Yvonne Rodriguez launched their Tres Lindas Cubanas cigar line last year, they wanted it to represent some of the diverse Cuban races as well as honor their grandmother, who inculcated them with pride in their African roots.
On a recent afternoon in a Coral Gables cigar shop, the twins point out their three signature cigars: “La clarita” – which means fair-skinned – and is light-medium bodied; “la mulata,” which means mixed black/white as is medium-full, much like their grandmother; and “la negrita” means black which is their strongest, full-bodied cigar.
“The industry is dominated by older white Cuban males,” Yvette explained as she and her sister puffed away on one of their “mulata” cigars – which they say is the perfect blend for afternoons.
They say people don’t know how to react when they realize the cigar brand is owned by two young, Afro-Cuban ladies. “They don’t know whether to welcome us or question us,” Yvonne said. They both speak with a Miami accent or twang prevalent among many first-generation Cubans.