May 2020

Rocky Patel available in New Zealand. The sole distributor for Non-Cuban cigars signed an exclusive distribution agreement with the large independent cigar brand.

Canteros owner Grant Ovenden confirmed that the company will distribute Rocky Patel down under. The first Rocky Patel cigars that made it to the Kiwi Cigar Aficionados are the Vintage 1990, Edge Maduro, Edge Corojo, and the Rocky Patel Decade.

The story of Rocky Patel

Rakesh Patel was born in India. At age 15, he moved to the United States with his parents.To Green Bay, Wisconsin. It was there, in high school, where he got the name Rocky. That was his nickname, given to him by his friends. Patel was a good student and became a lawyer. His specialty is entertainment law and he made his name in Hollywood. He represented some big names. Those included Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and others. And those guys all smoke cigars.

Due to his representation of those movie stars, Patel had to hang around movie sets a lot. And that means waiting a lot between scenes. During those long waits, his clients introduced Patel to cigars. And Patel fell in love. So much that he became one of the founding members of the Grand Havana Room. That is the most exclusive cigar club in Los Angeles. And after meeting Philip Zanghi, he became a cigar brand owner.

Ministry of Cigars Rocky Patel available in New Zealand
Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve Maduro

Indian Tabac

Zanghi owned the rights to Indian Motorcycles. When he and Patel partnered up they picked Indian Tabac as their name. A few years later, Patel bought the shares of Zanghi. And after years of work on blends, consistency and quality control, Patel was ready to put his name on the cigars. In 2002, he changed the Indian Tabac name to Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. Zanghi made a comeback in the cigar industry in the mid-2010s, with Indian Motorcycle Cigars and Debonaire.

Patel now runs two factories. One in Honduras, which he leases from the Plasencia family. There is another factory, Tavicusa. That one is located in Esteli, Nicaragua. Patel also owns a few plantations in Nicaragua, growing tobacco for his own cigars. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tavicusa, Patel named a cigar after the factory. We reviewed the Tavicusa robusto.

In the 1990s, Patel was also a TV-Chef at a local channel in Los Angeles. If anybody has footage of that show, please contact us. We have been looking all over for episodes, but came up empty.

Ministry of Cigars Rocky Patel soon available in New Zealand
Rocky Patel Tavicusa


And soon the brand will be available in New Zealand. Through Canteros. Founded in 2015 by Grant Ovenden. He realized that only Cuban cigars were for sale in New Zealand. And he loved New World cigars. So he decided to take a chance and be a cigar merchant. With success, as his portfolio is growing quickly. Just as his sales.

The distributor recently brought RoMa Craft and other Schuster brands to New Zealand. And Balmoral, Casa Cuevas, El Viajante, and MBombay. Plus the company started to offer a bigger variety of Joya de Nicaragua, Drew Estate and Illusione. And the innovative Select Draw Cigar Cutter after reading an article on here.

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