Ortega started smoking cigars casually in his late 20’s while married to the daughter of Rolando Reyes Sr. After trying the Aliados cigar, Ortega fell in love with stogies and sold his successful computer business he had in New Jersey to move to Miami. While in Miami Ortega began to work for his ex-father in law (Reyes Sr.) at Puros Indios.
In 2003 Ortega founded United Tobacco (also known as EO Brands) with Erik Espinosa. EO has created some delicious blends over the years including the 601 Serie Red, 601 Serie Blue and Cubao. Ortega even had a partnership with the legendary Don Pepin Garcia. Eventually Ortega moved on and in 2010 he left EO Cigars to start Ortega Cigars, located in Sunrise, Florida.
“I’ve wanted to do this for quite some time,” Ortega told Cigar Aficionado. “Erik (Espinosa) is like my brother, but I wanted to be independent.”
Ortega said that he has no interest in putting out limited release cigars as there are already plenty on the market. “I’d much rather build solid brands, and I’m not looking to be the next big thing,” said Ortega.