Liana Fuente: The next heiress of the Fuente Empire

lianaThirty-two-year-old Liana Fuente had been sneaking puffs of cigars for as long as she could remember. Being born into the world famous Fuente Cigar family meant that cigars were never hard to come by. Liana's childhood memories of her grandfather, Carlos Fuente, and father, Carlito, always seemed to included a dangling cigar from their mouths. Sometimes, when they were not looking, she said she would sneak into one of their offices, steal a puff or two, as most children would do as an act of curiosity. But it wasn't until she was older did she have the opportunity to smoke one from start to finish.

At a young age, Liana Fuente was in New Orleans with her father for the first time attending major cigar convention. While on their way out to dinner, her father and a group of his friends lit up cigars. She prodded her father for one so she could join in on the festivities. He agreed to provide her with a cigar, an Opus X Lancero. This is one of Fuente's most sought out cigar and one of the most beloved in the entire industry, but it was a lot larger and stronger than she desired for her first cigar. Excepting her father's prideful selection, she grabbed it and puffed away.

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Cynthia Fuente...The First Lady of Cigars

Cigar city coverNicknamed “The First Lady of Cigars” for holding the highest ranking corporate position within the cigar industry—president of US. operations for Arturo Fuente Tobacco Company~Cynthia Fuente Suarez is constantly asked what it is like to be a woman in a “man’s world” and how it feels to be a female pioneer in the tobacco industry. For Fuente, these are confounding questions. A woman in the cigar industry is special? She is a pioneer? Fuente has been part of the cigar industry since the day she was born and for as far back as she can remember, women have not just been a part of it—they have been a major part of it.

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Dominican Foundation Honoring Carlos Fuente Jr.

Cigar Aficionado. Written by Andrew Nagy

Carlos Fuente Jr. is known for making some of the world’s best cigars, but tonight, the Dominican Foundation is honoring him for another reason: his charitable work.

The foundation, a nonprofit organization created to promote awareness of the Dominican Republic’s poverty, will honor Fuente with its 2012 Dominican Distinguished Humanitarian Award at a gala event taking place tonight at the Park Café in New York City’s Time Warner Building. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at 6:30 p.m. kick off tonight’s event, with the presentation of the award coming at 8, followed by dinner at 8:30.

In 2001, the Fuente and J. C. Newman cigar families created the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create meaningful change to the communities of the Dominican Republic through education, health care and the development of eco-friendly business ventures.

Cigar Family Charitable Foundation's major project is a 23-acre community complex located in the Bonao tobacco-growing region of the Dominican Republic. Well over 5,000 families enjoy the complex's amenities, which include a school, medical and dental clinic, sports and recreation facilities, and an organic farm and fishery. In addition, the United Nations has praised the complex as a model of corporate social responsibility.

For more on Fuente and his cigarmaking legacy, see the February issue of Cigar Aficionado.

Listen to audio from the event

 

Roanoke tobacco shop celebrates a century in business

Milan Tobacconists celebrated Saturday with a leading cigar maker

The air was thick with cigar smoke, the shop crowded with loyal customers, as David and Renee Meyer celebrated Milan Tobacconists' 100 year history.

"I've seen pictures of Roanoke back in the heyday," David Meyer told us, "And you look down the street and you see four or five tobacco shops. Milan's is the only one left."

The day included recognition from state and local leaders, and emotional moments from the current owners. Renee Meyer's father purchased the business from the Milan family in 1994.

"None of this would be achievable if it weren't for the Milans," Renee Meyer told tthe crowd, "and the Roys and then the customers and the patrons, who've been so wonderful in supporting this adventure of ours."


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The guest of honor was Carlos Fuente Jr., the President of Arturo Fuente & Company, one of the world's leading makers of premium cigars.

"Milan Brothers, Milan Tobacconists, I've known for a long time," Fuente said. "As a young man, little boy, I used to pack orders for this company."

His company is also celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012.

"It's something that is achieved through only love," Fuente said in an interview, "and a commitment that is greater than the business itself."

Despite the struggles that every small business faces, and challenges that are specific to the tobacco industry, Renee and David Meyer are optimistic that quality products and personal service will continue to pay off.

And while a special guest signed cigar boxes, and customers lined up to buy his products, the Meyers were opening a new chapter in the history of an enduring local business.
 


 

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