“Island Jim” Robinson is the owner of Leaf and Bean, a cigar and coffee shop in Pittsburgh. He is known for his love of tropical shirts and his trademark hat and sunglasses. But he should be better known for the cigars he has made in partnership with Honduran cigar maker Oscar Valladares. The name Island Jim was given to him by Cigar Maker Eddie Ortega from EO Cigars (previously in collaboration with Erik Espinosa). Mr. Robinson resided in Key West and always wore a tropical shirt, usually portraying Palms Tress in the Beach. A suit-and-tie man that used to work in Corporate America, clean, shave, and travel the US training Staff at the Marriott Hotel. Once he gave that life up, he returned to Pittsburgh and became the real Island Jim. Since then, these cigars have become some of the Best Honduran Cigars money can buy!
Island Jim is perhaps best known for Leaf by Oscar, which started as a house cigar for his store. Leaf by Oscar uses a tobacco leaf wrapped around the cigar instead of cellophane, resulting in an oilier and flavorful smoke. Leaf by Oscar comes in a variety of wrappers – Connecticut, Corojo, Sumatra, and Maduro. He has also produced the Island Jim line, with the original sporting a natural Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper and the San Andres wrapped in a dark and oily Mexican wrapper. Another of his peculiar, premium smokes are the Big Johnny. Another cigar that is different in all ways: packaging and manufacturing are always a novelty. Island Jim is very attentive to details when it comes to manufacturing, and he likes to do things his way!
Oscar Valladares formerly worked for Rocky Patel before establishing his own company in 2012 with his brother Hector and master blender Bayron Duarte. Since then, Oscar Valladares Tobacco and Company in Danli, Honduras has been producing well received and rated cigars, both flavorful and well priced.
When manufacturing cigars, it is always business as usual. All manufacturers use the same tobaccos; they blended to their interest, and their seal of authenticity is usually the way they aged tobacco. That is why you can smoke a cigar and identify if it is made using Dominican Tobaccos or Nicaraguan. You can also go even further and say, these are Arturo Fuente Cigars or My Father Cigars. But wrapping finished made cigars, ready to smoke, with a Tobacco leave, has never been seen before. And it works. Island Jim invented a way to continue the aging process once the cigars are even on the retailer's shelves. Similar to the concept of cigars in Tubes. The difference is that the leaf of tobacco has properties that transfer to the cigars keeping the moist and the oils of the leave. Smoke any Leaf By Oscar and you will understand.