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These Miami twins sell cigars to tell their story as Afro-Cubans

Yvette and Yvonne Rodriguez are the owners of the Miami-based Cuban cigar brand Tres Lindas Cubanas.
Carl Juste
Miami Herald
Yvette and Yvonne Rodriguez are the owners of the Miami-based Cuban cigar brand Tres Lindas Cubanas.

When you picture a person smoking a great cigar, Yvette and Yvonne Rodriguez want you to picture a Black woman.

They know a lot of people picture a light-skinned abuelo in a guayabera, but the cigar lover in their lives was their grandmother, Esperanza. They remember her ending the day in a rocking chair, sharing stories and smoking a cigar.

Yvette and Yvonne are twin sisters who created the cigar brand Tres Lindas Cubanas (Three Beautiful Cubans). The name comes from the title of a Cuban bolero. Their grandmother makes up the third linda.

The sisters were raised by their Afro-Cuban family in South Miami-Dade. They know that Afro-Latino success stories don’t often reach the mainstream, so they founded a local group of Afro-Latino professionals to help tell stories like theirs.

The twins left their careers in communications to become entrepreneurs together. They created their cigar business 10 years ago. Now, they’ve added Cuban espresso because cigars and coffee are better together.

On the July 18 episode of Sundial, Yvette and Yvonne told us about how their grandmother Esperanza's hustle as a Cuban exile ultimately inspired them to launch their own business.

On Sundial's previous episode, Caron Bowman of Street Art Revolution in West Palm Beach shared why public art is the democratic form of art.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Carlos Frías is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.
Elisa Baena is a former associate producer for Sundial.
Alexa Herrera, a WLRN newsroom intern, is a third-year journalism student at the University of Florida.