Veteran tobacco expert Claudio Sgroi announced Thursday that he will step down from Mombacho Cigars, where he joined as a consultant in 2011 and has worked since 2012, serving in a number of roles, most prominently as master blender and president.
Sgroi said in a statement that he was resigning to spend more time with his family to devote energy to “other professional ventures,” including his role as president of the Nicaraguan Tobacco Chamber.
Sgroi served at Mombacho from 2012 to 2016 as master blender and director of operations, and from 2016 to now as master blender and president. His resignation is effective April 1.
During his time at Mombacho, Sgroi developed several acclaimed blends, including the Liga Maestro blend, the Mombacho 10th Anniversary Magnifico, the Casa Favilli line, and the Cosecha Series. He was also part of the renovation of Casa Favilli, a colonial mansion in Granada, Nicaragua, which today serves as the Mombacho Cigars factory.
Sgroi told Cigar Snob last year that he got the job at Mombacho responding to a LinkedIn ad, never having heard of the brand. The company was seeking a brand manager for China, but he didn’t speak Mandarin, which was needed. Instead, the two parties put together a deal in which he would work from the Granada, Nicaragua factory “to spread the love of cigars from Granada to the world.”
“We agreed to a three-month contract and I spent that time going to Granada and understanding what they were doing, looking at their tobacco, opening the cigars, making suggestions,” Sgroi said. “And I found we had very good chemistry; we had the same ideas, the same way of talking to each other, and I was embracing their vision. “
That led to an escalation in duties and roles as he joined Mombacho as a partner.
“I am excited and looking forward to dedicating more time to the Nicaraguan Tobacco Chamber, as I have a deep responsibility to represent the leading manufacturers in the world,” Sgroi said in a statement. “The members of the chamber are making the highest quality cigars available today.”