Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

The Alternatives | 15 MINUTES WITH ...

Laith Haddad

January 02, 2003|Carolyn Patricia Scott

The Sunset Strip has everything: sushi shops, nightclubs, tattoo parlors, mini-marts, clothing stores, restaurants, record shops ... and the Cuban Seed Cigar Company. Considering real estate prices in the area, it's not surprising that this shop has a tiny storefront, but a sign with 2-foot-high lettering proclaiming "Cuban Cigars" catches the eye. Laith Haddad, a Jordanian American family man who lives in San Marino, is the proprietor.

Stogies with style

Inside the Cuban Seed Cigar Company, forest green walls, polished wood furnishings and a pair of caramel-colored leather sofas meet at an angle where a TV set provides the small talk. Haddad, in a tan cashmere pullover and charcoal slacks, greets customers. Those who know his wares follow him into the temperature- and humidity-controlled room with shelves holding hundreds of varieties of smokes.

*

Strategic moves

Haddad admits the "Cuban Cigars" sign gets people in the door. "But it's no hoax. The cigars are made with the finest tobaccos, aged for a minimum of four years, and they are made by Cubans -- in America," he says.

*

Confessions

"When a customer is considering taking a personal vault" -- a mahogany drawer with a silver-plate nameplate -- "they take note of the names of some of my celebrity customers, and they are impressed."

*

Best perks

"I love to make custom cigars for my celebrity customers. I take their favorite tobaccos, flavors and make their own cigars. Then I have custom labels made for their exclusive stock."

-- Carolyn Patricia Scott

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|