Cuban tradition reaches Newark

Cuban cigar makers are considered to be the most talented in the world, and Nelda Pozo Jimenez is no exception.

In Newark's Ironbound section, Jimenez has turned a tiny backroom factory into a thriving international business.

"I buy the leaves in Nicaragua, Mexico ... different countr[ies]," she says. ?Every day, every cigar, I test it.?

Jimenez and her family have been making cigars for ages, and now she has planted those seeds in New Jersey. The 70-year-old Jimenez could have retired long ago, but instead she reports to work at 6 each morning and tends to her leaves.

Jimenez?s factory on Liberty Street in Newark looks more like a one-chair barbershop. Rollers sit so close they almost touch shoulders as they make cigars and talk quietly.

"My family [has] a business in 1902 - maybe 10 generations," she says.

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