How a Trip to the Dominican Republic Inspired the Creation of This Black-Owned Cigar Brand

Dean Parsons, a former law enforcement officer turned Black-owned cigar brand owner, has an inspiring story of how his passion for cigars grew into a business. He discovered his love for premium sticks as a Harley-Davidson owner, as he would often enjoy a cigar after riding.

“I would get together with friends on days off to ride,” Parsons shares. “I also attended annual bike rallies like Laconia and Daytona Bike weeks. A cigar was a nice way to wind down after a long ride.”

The Black-owned cigar brand owner found that cigars had the ability to connect people and bring them together. They fostered conversation, camaraderie, relaxation and conversation, and paired well in the mornings with a coffee or in the evenings after dinner with a rum, whiskey or bourbon.

However, it was not until his travels to the Dominican Republic that his passion for cigars turned into something much more significant. Having made a career change from law enforcement to real estate development in the Turks and Caicos Islands, he began traveling to the Dominican Republic in 2005.

It was during these trips that Parsons learned about the art of making cigars. He also developed close relationships with mentors and great cigar makers who would go on to influence his success.

Dean Parsons. Image: Courtesy of Epic Cigars.

“Cigars started as a hobby and as gifts for real estate closings, and slowly turned into a brand and business,” Parsons explains. “I traveled to the Dominican Republic for several years and then moved there in 2009 and resided there for almost 10 years.”

In 2010, he founded Epic Cigars. The company offers premium cigars crafted with knowledge, patience, time and dedication. Parsons notes that good mentorship and surrounding himself with the right minds in the tobacco industry is a big part of what has helped lead him to success and distinguish his brand from the many others trying to make a name for themselves in the industry.

“It’s not something that happens overnight. I’ve seen many companies come and go over the last 10–15 years. My time spent living in the Dominican Republic developing the Epic brand is one of the many things that sets us apart.”

Epic Cigars offer a wide range of cigars in their portfolio. The brand has four core lines that come in five sizes each: the Maduro, Habano, Corojo and LaRubia. Additionally, they have other limited edition and special collaboration cigars. The company also sells accessories like ashtrays, lighters and Epic-themed apparel.

Epic Cigars are available for purchase in the US, Canada and internationally, or at and a number of other online retailers. Sure to impress any cigar enthusiast, this Black-owned business is a true testament to hard work, persistence and an undeniable passion for cigars.

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Updated: August 11, 2023 — 12:02 pm