post #91 of 1358
12/6/06 at 8:59pm
Anyone know of cigars with very dense smoke?
I'm in the mood to learn to blow smoke rings... haha
|The first cigar bearing the family name was hand-rolled in 1912 when Arturo Fuente started the “A. Fuente Cigar Company.” Among the first brands made was the “Tampa Sweethearts.” Its logo of a man romancing a woman on a rowboat inspired our name. In 1924, Arturo lost his business to fire. To pay off creditors, without claiming bankruptcy, he worked for other cigar manufacturers.
During the 1940’s, with his wife and a few relatives, he began business again from the back of his home with “Arturo Fuente Cigar Company ” located in Ybor City. His business flourished and he moved to a two-story factory during the mid 1950’s. Cigar production was on the first floor, while he lived with his wife and 2 sons, Arturo Oscar and Carlos, on the second floor.
By the early 1960’s, success demanded more space and the Fuente family moved their company into the historic “Charles the Great” cigar factory. This four-story red-brick building was built in 1895 and remains an architectural gem of Ybor City. Carlos, was now president of the firm, and Arturo Oscar was Vice-President.
The 1970’s was a period of economical and industrial challenges. Runaway inflation and inability to find skilled workers caused the company to look abroad. During the early 1980’s, producing hand-rolled cigars became a lost art in Tampa and visionary changes took place. Factories were started in Nicaragua then Honduras, but misfortune once again struck sending the now named “Tabacalera A. Fuente y Compania” to the Dominican Republic. There they began with only seven employees. After several years, the demand from loyal cigar customers necessitated more workers and factories. Today “Tabacalera A.Fuente y Compania” has over 2,500 employees and four factories.
In 1994, all Arturo Fuente operations were finally closed from the “Charles the Great” factory. At that time, Arturo Oscar officially retired from the company and then opened “Tampa Sweethearts Cigar Company,” in that same building. “Tampa Sweethearts” is a retail outlet and mail order business that is all run by family members. Today, his elder son, Arturo Oscar Jr., is president of the company. Here you will find Arturo Fuente®, Montesino®, Flor de Ybor City®, as well as the apprentice-rolled Tampa Sweethearts® cigars.