Black cigar smokers find community — and business opportunities — amid the pandemic

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Black cigar brands forge a new path

Emperors Cut, based in Houston, is among dozens of brands produced by Black men and women that contribute to an industry that has been generally dominated by white- and Latino-owned enterprises.

“We did our market analysis before starting our company,” said Willis, whose team traveled to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic to consult with experts. “We want all cigar smokers to enjoy EC. But we’d be lying if we said we understood the breadth of investment Black folk make enjoying this simple pleasure.”