Pure Patel

Taste, design and quality make BURN's founder hungry for more.

When Rocky Patel moved to Naples in 1999, leaving a law practice in Los Angeles in the rear view mirror, he had three employees, a clear vision and big dreams.

Now, he employs 3500 people in five luxury cigar lounges and impeccable humidors and across two efficient farms and production facilities in Nicaragua and Honduras. This month, he’s celebrating 25 years crafting beautiful cigars with a blend he calls the Quarter Century. It is rolling out at BURN Naples, where the humidor is open for premium cigar shopping, all made by hand under the watchful eye of Rocky and his team.

The journey begins on the sun-splashed farms in Central America where tobacco seedlings grows bold and bright and culminates, 4-5 years later as factory inspectors study each cigar’s shape, color, texture, weight and smell. “The journey is long, with hours of attention during farming, fermentation, sorting, production and packaging. A labor of love and passion,” says Rocky. “The art form of cigar making is unique and we take it very seriously.”

He has personally spend the last five years working with the FDA to educate lawmakers and deregulate cigars. “The FDA casts a wide net over these regulations and cigars are not the same as cigarettes. They do not carry the same health risks.”  

Producing more than 24 million cigars a year, he opened BURN lounges to showcase the brand, offering a fine dining and elevated cocktail experience with live music in an elegant setting. “Our HVAC system is second to none, so men and women can enjoy a fine cigar with their cocktail, dance, enjoy the patio with a mature and dynamic atmosphere.” 

We pray the revelry will safely resume very soon at BURN Naples, opened in 2010 as the flagship. Lounges in Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis and Atlanta have each been designed by Rocky, showcasing a unique mix of regional art and exotic decor. 

The walk-in humidor is constructed from Spanish cedar to protect the 400-plus cigars. An online catalogue gives aficionados a chance to shop from home at BurnByRockyPatel.com.

People are enjoying Rocky Patel’s premium cigars at home and his story is evolving. 

When I spoke with Rocky, was cooking for his executive team. 


An accomplished chef (he had a cooking show at one point), Rocky will routinely prepare 12 course meals for friends, family and employees. On a recent Sunday, he tossed a salad of lettuces, radicchio, goat cheese, walnuts and pomegranate seeds. Next up came small plates of scallops with beurre blanc, Alaskan king crab with amazu sauce and quail won tons with blueberry hoisin finish. “I learned to cook from my mom and watched cooking shows, developing a palate and understanding ingredients,” says Rocky.  

After a fine meal, Rocky enjoys a Sun Grown Maduro (award-winning, available in five sizes, with a 95 rating) with an Italian super Tuscan or single malt scotch. “You get more flavor rom a cigar after a meal, and it’s very relaxing.”  

This flair for creativity, taste, design and perfection is evident in his businesses, as well as his kitchen. He is also building spec homes, pushing the envelope on style, with Balinese influences and progressive elements that are pure Patel. 


YouTube - Rocky Patel - Against All Odds




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