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The Citrus Heights couple’s cigar bar brings culture and conviviality

Cuban culture is flourishing in Citrus Heights, thanks to a couple and their cigar shop, which brought them together. It’s a little corner of Havana inside Casillas Cigars where they have freshly rolled cigars, salsa, and a vibrant Cuban atmosphere. This family owned and operated business manufactures everything it sells. Owners Pierre and Ana Perales love to share their culture with guests. love has begun. Pierre remembers the day very well. He called it love at first sight. “I remember everything. I remember who was in the room when she walked in, what she was wearing, what I was wearing, where she was, everything she said,” Pierre said. “From that point on, we got married at that point.” The two encounters at the cigar store were entirely coincidental. Ana was driving on Madison Avenue. She said she almost had an accident and swerved, braking and turning in the parking lot where the store was located. She walked in and Pierre started offering her cigars, but said she told him she had no interest in cigars at all – she was looking for something Cuban after moving to the area. New Orleans. After their first meeting, she said “the rest is history”. “I definitely found what I was looking for!” Ana said, referring to her search for something Cuban. Fifteen years and two children later, the Perales family proudly carry on their family tradition of rolling fresh cigars. Pierre says they use tobacco grown in the Dominican Republic. Every cigar they sell is a tradition passed down to Pierre from his father, who escaped from a Cuban concentration camp to find freedom in America. decades of oppression, 60 years of communist control. And again, we have my parents who escaped in 1968, escaped from a communist concentration camp. My dad dived in Guantanamo Bay, swam two miles where the Marines pulled him out of the water. Talk about a heartbreaking story. And I see my dad every day of my life and run this operation with him. With him here in the family business. “Casillas Cigars offers over 36 types of fresh hand-rolled cigars, but for customers and those who work there, it’s more than just a cigar store. It’s a community meeting place where people from all walks of life and all cultures meet. Pierre said a friend of his described his cigar shop as “by people, by people and for people.” Said if it wasn’t for this place, I don’t know what I would have done to myself. I don’t know what would happen because they were going through a divorce or a rough time, grief or a professional transition “Pierre said. Pierre and Ana said that sharing cigars with their family and friends has always been a spiritual part of their heritage. Comparing smoking and sharing a cigar to breaking bread, Peter said it is a tradition that works in times of peace and war, as well as in times of victory and sorrow. Culturally, Ana said it’s a spiritual practice, a way people were able to communicate with the gods, the smoke carrying wishes and prayers to them. The couple are now taking their Cuban culture on the road to parties and events. They have an entertainment service called “Havana Nights”, where they bring in dancers, teach guests salsa dancing, and roll them fresh cigars. It’s just another way the Perales leave their mark on the community and keep their family traditions alive. “There aren’t a lot of Cubans here in California,” Ana said. “And it’s really nice because we feel like we can leave our mark and we can leave our legacy here as a Cuban. Every day we strive to spread more of our, our culture, through the dance and art because that’s what’s in our blood. It’s what’s in our history. So we love to share this with other people. “Casillas Cigars is open 7 days a week, located at 7435 Madison Ave. at Citrus Heights. You can book a “Havana Nights” event online.

Cuban culture is flourishing in Citrus Heights, thanks to a couple and their cigar shop, which brought them together.

It’s a little corner of Havana inside Casillas Cigars where they have freshly rolled cigars, salsa, and a vibrant Cuban atmosphere. This family owned and operated business manufactures everything it sells.

Owners Pierre and Ana Perales love to share their culture with guests.

“Our Cuban culture is everything,” Ana said.

The cigar store, where Ana and Pierre met, is also the place where their love began.

Pierre remembers the day very well. He called it love at first sight.

“I remember everything. I remember who was in the room when she walked in, what she was wearing, what I was wearing, where she was, everything she said,” Pierre said. “From that point on, we got married at that point.”

The two encounters at the cigar store were entirely coincidental. Ana was driving on Madison Avenue. She said she almost had an accident and swerved, braking and entering the parking lot where the store was located.

She walked in and Pierre started offering her cigars, but said she told him she wasn’t interested in cigars at all – she was looking for something Cuban that had just moved from Nova Scotia. Orleans in the region. After their first meeting, she said “the rest is history”.

“I definitely found what I was looking for!” Ana said, referring to her search for something Cuban.

Fifteen years and two children later, the Perales family proudly carry on their family tradition of rolling fresh cigars. Pierre says they use tobacco grown in the Dominican Republic.

Rolled in every cigar they sell is a tradition passed down to Pierre from his father, who escaped from a Cuban concentration camp to find freedom in America.

“We come from many years and decades of oppression, 60 years of communist control. And again, we have my parents who escaped in 1968, escaped from a communist concentration camp. My father dove in the bay. from Guantanamo, swam two miles where the Marines pulled him out of the water. Talk about a heartbreaking story. And I see my dad every day of my life and run this operation with him. With him here in the family business. “

Casillas Cigars offers over 36 types of fresh hand-rolled cigars, but for customers and those who work there, it’s more than just a cigar shop. It is a community meeting place where people from all walks of life and all cultures come together.

Pierre said a friend of his described his cigar shop as “by the people, by the people and for the people”.

“The guys came back years later and said if it hadn’t been for this place I don’t know what I would have done to myself. I don’t know what would happen because they were going through a divorce or a difficult time, grief or a job transition, ”said Pierre.

Pierre and Ana have said that sharing cigars with their family and friends has historically been part of their spiritual heritage. Comparing smoking and sharing a bread-breaking cigar, Peter said it is a tradition that works in times of peace and war, as well as in times of victory and sorrow.

From a cultural perspective, Ana said it was a spiritual practice, a means by which people could communicate with the gods, the smoke bringing them wishes and prayers.

The couple are now taking their Cuban culture on the road to parties and events. They have an entertainment service called “Havana Nights”, where they bring in dancers, teach guests salsa dancing, and roll them fresh cigars.

It’s just another way the Perales leave their mark on the community and keep their family traditions alive.

“There aren’t a lot of Cubans here in California,” Ana said. “And it’s really nice because we feel like we can leave our mark and we can leave our legacy here as a Cuban. Every day we strive to spread more of our, our culture, through the dance and art because that’s what’s in our blood. It’s what’s in our story. So we love to share that with other people. “

Casillas Cigars is open 7 days a week, located at 7435 Madison Ave. at Citrus Heights. You can book a “Havana Nights” event online.


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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement