January 2023

Siegfried Maruschke Sr., one of the most prolific tobacco brokers in the Dominican Republic, passed away yesterday at 5:30 p.m. in Santiago. He was 83 years old.

Born September 12, 1939, Maruschke owned and operated Jose Mendez & Co. S.R.L., a Dominican tobacco growing and brokerage operation in Moca, with his son, Siegfried Jr. The company started in the 1960s when José “Don Pepe” Mendez, left Cuba as a cigarette manufacturer and relocated to the Dominican Republic to become leaf broker where his company would finance the farming of tobacco in order to accrue large libraries of inventory. Maruschke came to the Dominican Republic from Germany as an engineer in the late ’60s and joined the company in 1972 after marrying Don Pepe’s daughter, Mercedes.

Maruschke spent the last five decades contracting tobacco farmers and working closely with teams of agronomists who supervise all aspects and development of the crop. Jose Mendez & Co. not only finances all of the farming but also provides seeds, fertilizer and any agents needed to protect the crops from disease. The company grows, processes and sells large quantities of Piloto Cubano, as well as Olor, Criollo, Corojo and Havana 2000. It’s also a major supplier of tobacco to Altadis U.S.A., producers of the non-Cuban Montecristo, H. Upmann and Romeo y Julieta brands.

Maruschke is survived by his wife Mercedes, his sister Maria Theresia, as well as his son, Siegfried Maruschke Jr. (Yvette) and his grandchildren Marie Chantal and Franz.

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