On Drinking 'Cuba Libré Original Formula', Ney Patin & Cuban Sanctions

Posted: Feb 01 2015

Ney Patin - Cuba LibreHispanic.com sat down with the resilient and dynamic Ney Patin of Cuba Libré Original Formula. This iconic drink is made with 3yr Aged White Rum, Proprietary-highest Quality cola, and comes in a ready-to-drink Convenient 12 oz. can.

Cuba Libre – Original Formula has been served in Central and South America for the last 22 years, and Ney is currently leading its introduction to the United States. The beverage offers authentic Latin Flavor promoting Fun, Convenience and Quality.

Hispanic.com: Ney, tell us about your background. You started out in the business world at a young age.
Ney Patin: When I was four-years old, our family migrated and moved in with my grandmother in the South Bronx.  10 years later, I started buying iced-tea drinks and selling it at popular street intersections.  That summer I sold so much that the distributor supplying me offered me a full time job!   

Hispanic.com: How did you become a partner w/ Cuba Libré and then begin importing it into the U.S.?
Ney Patin: I saw the opportunity while traveling with my partners into Costa Rica and then seeing how well it was received while I travelled into Panama, Mexico and Bolivia, and we decided we would buy into the company and bring it to the US. We launched the brand that summer into NYC, NJ and MA.  Even though we’re a small company in the midst of a trillion-dollar industry, our brand is fortunate enough to stand out, mainly on the basis of its uniqueness, quality and a name that means so much to many. 

For me it’s been an incredible ride so far and we’re just beginning!   We sponsored the International Emmys and introduced the brand to A-listers by including a can in 1200 Gift Bags and supported the event’s after-party at The Aspen Social Club in New York. The brand resonated with many and we realized then that the brand represented something a lot more powerful.

Hispanic.com: The growth in your professional success is paralleled with challenges in your personal life.  How are things going?
Ney Patin:  Like everybody, my life is a delicate balance of family and work, especially engaged in introducing a new brand into the US where 94% of well funded brands fail in the market place.  Nothing is easy.   For us we are blessed and we are building momentum as the brand sells well in an extremely diverse demographic.

Hispanic.com: Ney, what did it mean for your company when Obama announced lifting sanctions with Cuba?
Ney Patin: Well at first I didn't think anything about our brand, but what it meant for an island that would probably benefit from exporting and allowing tourism to help many there. Then all of a sudden the calls started pouring in as if it was directly correlated with us.

That really did set things off and we began seeing a surge in sales in Dominican, Puerto Rican and Cuban neighborhoods. Then, surprisingly, Liquor stores in downtown started selling out of inventory that at 1st couldn't sell any of it. Well -- we haven't been able to fill the demand since!

Hispanic.com: What's next for Cuba Libré?
Ney Patin: We plan to partner with non for profits and language schools in helping many immigrant groups break barriers and make their transition easier by understanding the language, which will ultimately help them in their quest for Financial "Freedom".  And that's just the start. We will help many communities with several of our company initiatives.

Hispanic.com: Ney, thank you very much for your time, and we wish you and the family the best in the future.
Ney Patin:  My pleasure.

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