The passion began in the 1970s when a Dutch company opened a plant in a rural part of western Ireland where there had been very little industry.
In the end, the Dutch proved less enterprising than one of Ireland’s own Gerry O’Dowd, who was hired as general Manager.
Just a few years after the profitable Irish operation was launched, its struggling parent company pulled out. “The Irish operation was shut down and all the workers were out of a job”, recounts Aoife O’Dowd, Gerry’s daughter.
Gerry had a great faith in the potential, so bought the business. O’Dowd teamed up with Villiger and began manufacturing “custom made cigar brands”.
The O’Dowd family decided to buy the company, winning the distinction of becoming the only independent cigar manufacturer in Ireland.
ECMI, the O’Dowd family business, was bought by J.Cortès, the Vandermarliere family business.
The same ethos and commitment to service, quality and ultimately passion for cigars runs through both families to the core.
This ensures the future for all clients of ECMI and assures them and all future clients that the service and quality level achieved in the past will continue, with an increased product portfolio.