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Old 06-29-2017, 08:49 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Metairie, LA
Posts: 84,717
Elkie and Saka....Every Day

Well, not quite.
As some may know, Steve Saka is debuting a cigar called "Todos Las Dias" right soon.

As a fluent Spanish-speaker, I'm immediately struck that despite the "a" in dia or dias, it's still a masculine noun and the cigar SHOULD be named "Todos LOs Dias."

Since he has begun advertising and pushing the cigar on Facebook and other social media, I had the urge to send a private note, but he's already been through it.

Here is Saka's explanation of the cigar's name. It's like a Lew Rothman story, really and truly, and even better, Lew makes an appearance in this story.

The Very, Very, Very Long Explanation of How Saka Could Knowingly Name a Product Using Improper Spanish.
The Origin of "Todos Las Dias"

It all began in 2001.

I was working as a consultant for JR Cigar and was on trip to Honduras and Nicaragua with John Oliva Sr - the Patriarch of the Oliva Tobacco Company, Daniel Nunez - the Master Cigar Maker who ran all of General Cigar's operations and eventually went on to become the President and Lew Rothman - Owner of JR Cigar and by far the most influential Retailer in the our industry ever. I learned so much on this trip, it was crazy.

One of our visits was to the HATSA Factory in Cofradia, Honduras. Owned by legendary cigar and tobacco man Frank Llaneza, they were the makers of many of my favorite cigars at the time: Hoyo de Monterrey, Punch, El Rey del Mundo - always had a love for full bodied maduros and this was the mecca maker. The GM of the factory was another legend, Estello Padron - he is the late brother of yet another legend Jose Orlando Padron of Padron Cigars fame.

I was like a kid in a candy store. I was pummeling everyone with questions about tobacco, fermentation, manufacturing techniques.. anything and everything I could think of... I mean when in the world are you going have five legends at the very top of their industry with near 200 years of combined expertise like this together???

Don Estello spoke no English, but I think he took a shine to me because I was just so interested. I was asking some really technical questions and I don't think he was use to gringos being so engrossed in the topic. Anyhow somehow we got onto what -I- like to smoke and I told him I really liked "strong, dark cigars." He had someone fetch us two samples for us to share and man this cigar was POWERFUL - the nicotine in it was blowing me away even though at this point I was a very seasoned cigar smoker. In hindsight I think he gave me the cigar as a bit of a joke, knowing it was likely I would nearly choke on it... Anyhow I asked, "You really smoke these?!?!?!" To which he replied, "Todos los dias Saka, todos los dias."

This translates to "Every day Saka, every day."

Like I said, that experience and exchange has really stuck with me over the years. And over time I had come to suspect he was breaking my balls a bit, but that makes the memory even fonder so I always wanted to name a super strong cigar "Todos Las Dias."

What? Wait... you said he said "Todos Los Dias!"
Yes he did, but for nearly 15 years I thought he said LAS not LOS.
Anyone that knows me is aware of how shamefully pathetic my Spanish is particularly given how much time I have spent working in Latin America - I have tried to learn to no avail, I just plain suck at it... I am actually tone deaf. Thankfully I understand it far better than I speak it.

Anyhow, I have been saying "Todos Las Dias" for years and no one has every corrected me.
And it is understandable because many gringos convert the "o" sound into an "a" sound when they speak - for example in this phrase it is very common for us Anglos to say "todas" rather than "todos"...

So fast forward to 2015 when I tell Joya de Nicaragua I want to work on a new liga with them called "Todos Las Dias".

First they were excited by the project, but they immediately pointed out my very obvious grammar error and explained how I had been saying it wrong for 15 years.
Even knowing my mistake, I still wanted to call the brand Las not Los, because of the memory of it, plus I thought it was perfect reflection of my notoriously bad Spanish and the inspiration of my being a young man trying to learn from a Master who in the end I think was punking me a bit.

So I really wanted to keep the name, but it was really driving Mario Perez and Juan Martínez crazy so I agreed to change the name to the proper "Todos Los Dias".

Okay, so why is it stilled screwed up Saka?

After I submitted the TM application and did the brand design, I then through a consumer learned that a gentlemen named Stephen Adib of small cigar company in California named Cuba Rica was also planning on doing a brand named "Todos Los Dias."

We both had come up with the same brand name separate of each other and while I probably had legal position on him due to some sales I made on it in, I really wanted to resolve this in way that would be just for both of us and thankfully he felt the same.
Stephen and I met actually at Two Guys Smoke Shop - Seabrook and reached an agreement that would allow me to use the name in exchange for a dollar value to him. Both of us were satisfied.

Okay, we are back on track - Todos Los Dias is a "GO"...
Not so fast, as fate would have it the USPTO rejected the TM application!
What? Why?

Because it translates in English to "Every Day" and it so happens that Phillips and King has a mass market style tobacco product that bears this name registered in International Class 034.

So the USPTO refused my application, however the reviewing attorney told me if I changed it to "Todos Las Dias" it would be fine as far as the government is concerned. Turns out they use Google Translate which gives the result of "All the Days" and this would be perfectly okay...

Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?!

Having said it wrong for 15 years, having capitulated to JDN's rightful sense of grammar decorum, done all the work on the design including having the printing plates and cliche plates made, applying for the registration and as a cherry on top, actually having to buy the rights to use the name from someone else that may or may not had rights to use it, but ultimately courtesy of the USPTO could have never used it, I find myself unable to use it?!?!?!?!?

Literally I might as well have lit $15k+ on fire - it would sure have saved me a whole lot of grief.
And in the end, I found myself right back where I started...
Using the incorrect name I always wanted to use in my heart.
It means something to me.
It honors -my- memory and the origin of the brand.
It is self depreciating as it acknowledges my poor Spanish which is appropriate given how I think Senor Estello was punking me with a bit of sly smile when he fed me that punishing nicotine bomb.
It is reflective of my honesty of always admitting how much I still don't know, while striving to still learn even though most people regard me as an expert.
I love the name.

"Todos Las Dias my friends, Todos Las Dias."
ps: I told you I needed a keyboard in order to explain "why"... <snicker>

+In Memory of E.Guevara(Cubano67) A.Morris (Knife) D.Odom (dodom) D.Revermann (dgr) S.Bouchard (sb1396) M.Cole (Matt76) S.Faccenda (TOJE) R.Smith(IBMer) V.Vandermeer (van55)M.Davis(boxdoctor)S.Singer(bassman)K.Doetze l (drillrk1)D.Hart(garme1962)J.Coleman(John C 81)T.Gossett(Dartplayer1)J.Bolt (jb)E.J.Ferralles(CaballoPinto)M.Cataldo(FVFanMC)K Payne(SanchoPanza) + Libby DeMers,MrsCrimson, MrsPhilip, MrsDeriffe LB
+Connor Olson+Micah Kercheval+Maggie Bonefas (LittleMean)+

Last edited by TommyBB; 06-29-2017 at 08:57 AM.
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Dunbarton Trust, Saka, Steve Saka, Todos Las Dias
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