Our story traces its roots to San Jose de las Lajas, Cuba, an agricultural and industrial municipality located 27 kilometers southeast of Havana, where Silvio Perdomo was raised. He apprenticed first at Cuesta y Cia. in the early 1930’s before leaving to practice his art at the H. Upmann factory from 1937 to 1945; and at the famed Partagas factory until 1959.
It is also where his son, Nick Perdomo, Sr. was born and began his apprenticeship in 1948 at the Marin & Trujillo factory before earning accolades for his craftsmanship and making his own way to join his father at Partagas. “Things were going so well then, my father and I were just beginning to establish ourselves and obtain recognition for our work,” said Nick, Sr., an imposing wrecking ball of a man with a soft voice and a heart as big as his frame. “But then Castro destroyed everything – our country, our lives and our freedom.”
A quiet and peaceful man steadfastly opposed to Castro and the communist revolution, Silvio Perdomo was soon arrested in his own home and quickly tried and incarcerated in the notorious Isle of Pines prison where he endured his harshest treatment. Three years later he was transferred to La Cabana, a murky 18th century fortress overlooking Havana Bay. For the next 12 excruciating years, Silvio suffered through squalid conditions, torture and near-starvation at La Cabana and four other Cuban prisons.