Cigar industry mourns the loss of Bert Gottfried of Oliva Cigars

Written by Erik Calviño. Posted in Personalities

Tagged: , ,

May 2008 (photo by J Calvino)

Published on September 23, 2011 with 6 Comments

This morning at 12:30 AM the cigar industry lost an old friend. Bert Gottfried, the long time Oliva Cigars sales representative, passed away leaving an unimaginable void in the lives of the Oliva family and the cigar industry. Over the years, Bert had been known not just as an Oliva rep but more of an Oliva Evangelist. His use of hyperbole was often imitated by friends and admirers of his incredibly positive disposition. “He was a true original;” stated Jose Oliva, “anyone who had the good fortune of knowing him would agree.”

Jose Oliva and Bert Gottfried at an Oliva event at 3Js Cigar Emporium in Davie, FL

Bert joined Oliva Cigars 15 years ago and was instrumental in making Oliva Cigars a household name. Jose Oliva added, “He was the consummate salesman, his passion and pride are without equal. We will miss him terribly.”

Like most of the old-school cigar industry guys, they were quick with a colorful quote and Bert was no different. One of the most imitated Bert quotes was, “there are two types of cigars in this business; those that sell and those that don’t.”

Rest in peace Bert.

The following is a collection of our photos of Bert. Through the years Cigar Snob Magazine covered more of Bert’s events than we can remember, the images from these events are stored on countless external hard drives. We are going through them and as we find shots of Bert, we’ll add them to this gallery.

Share this Article

About Erik Calviño

Browse Archived Articles by


There are currently 6 Comments on Cigar industry mourns the loss of Bert Gottfried of Oliva Cigars. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. Bert was a true old school sales guy. I spent a few hours in Vegas at the Argenti booth talking with him and Mike about the industry. I’m glad he took the time to share a little bit of wisdom one last time even though I declined him on his offer to smoke a Doral vs. the Entubar Mike had given me.


  2. Bert was a great friend and will be missed by of of us at Executive Cigar. He was one of our first reps, and will never be forgotten. Rest in peace Bert.


  3. Bert is someone that will never be forgotten in the cigar industry. A moment I will never forget about Bert was the day he visited a cigar shop I worked at when I began in the cigar industry. We had a customer who loved the Flor de Oliva cigars and when bert was visiting us one afternoon while this customer was in the shop. The customer was explaining just how much he enjoyed the Flor de Oliva and Bert was listen and we noticed Bert was very quiet. Well bert had tears in his eyes and explained how much the kind words meant to him. Bert had such dedication to Oliva and this was the perfect example. Bert will never be forgotten. Thank you Bert and may God Bless you.

    Joel Sorrentino

  4. Bert will be missed by all,his humor and good cheer lifted spirits as soon as he walked in the room.his passion for oliva cigars astonished as well asassured of my favorite lines that he often sed was ”you gota stack`em high and let`em fly” Bert all so would say I couldn’t have it any other way I love this biasness”.So at least one small consolation is that he never stopped doing what he loved. knowing Bert was an honor that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Rest in peace Bert.

  5. Thanks for the comments guys, he truly was a legendary figure that the industry will miss. It’s especially tough for us in Florida who were accustomed and quite fortunate to be able to spend time with Bert regularly at events. I’m not sure when the next Oliva event near me is but I know that I will attend and will smoke one or three Olivas in Bert’s honor.

    Also, we’ve added more event shots of Bert and hope to continue to do so as we find them.

  6. Bert,

    Thanks for the sweet memories. What a great ambassador! He loved his job and the people in the business. He will truly be missed by all those individuals he had the opportunity to meet.

Leave a Comment