How Cigars Became a Symbol of Luxury

Cigar insider Carlito Fuente on how a simple smoke transformed into a premium status symbol.

 

fuente cigarCarlos “Carlito” Fuente, Jr. is president of Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia, the largest family-owned premium cigar company in the world. Headquartered in Santiago, Dominican Republic, they employ 4,000 people and produce 30 million cigars a year.

The company was founded in the United States in 1912 by Arturo Fuente, who came from Cuba and was eventually joined in the business by his son, Carlos Fuente, Sr., and then his grandson, Carlos Jr. (Carlito) and granddaughter Cynthia. At various times since the Cuban embargo, the Fuentes had factories in Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, and Honduras, often losing everything due to civil unrest. Finally, in 1980, they settled in the Dominican Republic.

Since then, Carlito Fuente has become the persona of the Fuente brand and with his late father, brought back many  figurado shapes and introduced innovative blends. Entire rooms in their factories are dedicated to their most famous cigars, including the Don Carlos, Hemingway, and OpusX  – a cigar that revolutionized the industry by becoming the first successful all-Dominican  puro. 

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MARVIN SMOKES THE CIGAR OF YEAR WITH CARLOS FUENTE JR.

Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of Cigar Aficionado, smokes the Don Carlos Eye of the Shark with its maker, Carlos Fuente Jr.

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New Arturo Fuente Box Factory

ground break

January 17, 2018 marked a historical moment for the oldest family in the Santiago Freezone, as the next generation was asked by Carlito Fuente to break ground at the exact location of the new Arturo Fuente Box Factory. This state of the art 69,000 square foot facility will be the home of many new and exciting projects.

 

Arturo Fuente Cigars back in Nicaragua!

NICA

On Jan 26th, Carlito Fuente surprised those in attendance at Puro Sabor 2018 when he announced that “Carlito’s Back!” in Nicaragua. Having had a presence in the country in the 1970s, Arturo Fuente has returned to build a cigar factory in the heart of Esteli with the name “Gran Fabrica de Tabacos La Bella y La Bestia.” The concept of the colonial design, which is a tribute to Nicaragua, was created by Carlito and designed by Manny Iriarte. In addition, Carlito announced that Felix Mesa, an experienced tobacco man and owner of El Galan Cigars, will oversee operations at the new Fuente facility. Finally, Carlito shared his desire to bring to Nicaragua his United Nations-recognized Cigar Family Charitable Foundation, which has helped so many children in the Dominican Republic. Aside from Carlito, Felix and Manny, Liana Fuente was in attendance at the announcement representing the 4th generation of the Fuente family.

 
 

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