After experiencing success in multiple business ventures, Al Micallef decided to try his hand at the premium cigar industry in 2015. Time spent in Fort Worth’s Silver Leaf Cigar Lounge piqued his curiosity about different aspects of the tobacco industry. A chance encounter with a Cuban couple on their way to Florida who were stranded in Texas due to car issues eventually led to the first Micallef-branded cigars being created. The couple were Joel and Edel Gomez Sanchez, whose family’s tobacco business was started back in Cuba in 1934 by Pedro F. Gomez. Joel and Edel are Pedro’s grandsons and they’ve kept the family’s tobacco farm and factory going ever since with the help of their mother, Migdalia Sanchez. The couple spent three days with him and others in Texas, and, as they were leaving, Micallef asked if they could make him 1,000 cigars. When he told them the qualities he liked in a cigar, they informed him that after watching him for three days in the lounge, they knew exactly what he liked and would set out to make him something he’d approve of. Soon after, Micallef joined with the Gomez Sanchez family to create the company bearing his name. Today, Micallef has 12 brand styles bearing his name.