From Space to Smoke: Omar de Frias Resigns from NASA
“I set an aggressive goal for myself at IPCPR. I exceeded that goal. Given the enormous support I received and increasing demand for Fratello, this was the time to give the cigar industry the extra 50 Hours a week I was spending on our nations space program,” said de Frias.
He continued, addressing the looming FDA regulations, “Although it is a tumultuous time for our industry, I have confidence in the staying power of my brand and the relationships I have worked so hard to build with our retailers and consumers.”
His journey started 5 years ago in 2011. After 2 years of research and planning, Omar launched Fratello Cigars at the 2013 IPCPR Show. The launch was an enormous success and would set the tone for the years to come. Fratello Cigars can now be found in over 350 premium tobacconist in the US and in 7 countries. “While I will miss NASA and I am extremely grateful for the experience and knowledge I acquired during my time there, I am eager to have the ability to focus all of my time and energies on Fratello.” stated de Frias.
Launched in 2013 Fratello, the Italian word for “brother”, is a line created by Omar de Frias out of the Dominican Republic. The inspiration for the company came 20 years ago when Omar watched a torcedor (cigar roller) working on his art in the Dominican; when the torcedor finished the cigar he was rolling, he handed it to Omar and said “Kid, welcome to the true gentleman’s club”.