2017 marks 105 years in business for Arturo Fuente. This endurance is no small feat. From fires to embargos, Arturo Fuente is a story of perseverance, excellence and making the best of what you have.
Arturo Fuente was born in 1887 in Guines, a suburb of La Habana Cuba. Shortly later, Arturo moved to Key West, Florida in 1906. At this time, the seeds were already laid for a thriving cigar community in Southern Florida. The now famous Ybor City was just founded to the North and the demand for new products and expertise was in its prime. In 1910, Arturo moved to Ybor’s sister city of West Tampa and founded Arturo Fuente & Company in 1912. His original production list included all handmade Cubans and grew to eventually peak at 500 cigars a week.
Fire, Rebuilding, and Family Affairs
1924 was not a great year for Arturo Fuente. The factory burned to the ground, he finalized his first divorce and spent the next 22 years repaying debts from the fire working as a General Manager. But, his passion never dulled. During his 20-year hiatus, Arturo met his new wife Christina and they started a family with their son’s Arturo Jr. and Carlos. With his families’ encouragement, Arturo began to restart his company in their garage, even recruiting his two sons to help roll cigars after school as their homework. His family continued to be a part of the business even after Arturo Fuente expanded back into a factory. While it remained a local brand through the 1950s, the business began to expand gradually and when Carlos bought the company in 1958 it was worth $1,161 and made a few thousand cigars a year.
While visiting Cuba in 1962, Carlos heard rumor of an impending embargo and purchased as much tobacco as possible. Although other makers began to offer thousands for the tobacco, Carlos never sold and the company began to thrive in a time that had other companies and makers in a panic. But, Arturo Fuente didn’t just rely on their stockpile of Cuban tobacco and continued to innovate, eventually releasing Flor de Orlando, the company’s first non-Cuban cigar.
Expansion into Central America
After much research into Puerto Rico, Mexico, Honduras and the Dominican Republic, Carlos and the Arturo Fuente brand found themselves in Estelí, Nicaragua. After more innovations and new blends, the company found themselves making 18,000 cigars per day in just three years. However, that wasn’t the end of their troubles. In 1979, Sandinistas burned down their factory and Carlos found himself fleeing for his life back to Ybor City where they continued to produce what they could in the limited space. After some time, Carlos and his son Carlito moved on to the Dominican Republic, opened Fuente LTD and released the Hemingway, a unique figurado that hadn’t been seen since before the Cuban embargo.
Cigar Aficionado Top 25
With that much passion and endurance, it is no surprise that Fuente cigars are no strangers to Cigar Aficionados’s elite Top 25 Cigars.
2004 – #4 Arturo Fuente Don Carlos No. 2
#13 Fuente Fuente OpusX PerfecXion No. 5
2005 – #1 Fuente Fuente OpusX Double Corona
#12 Arturo Fuente Hemingway Best Seller
2006 – #10 Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Belicoso
#15 Fuente Fuente OpusX Reserva d’Chateau
2007 – #2 Fuente Fuente OpusX PerfecXion No. 2
2009 – #7 Arturo Fuente Hemingway Classic
#14 Fuente Fuente OpusX Reserva D’Chateau
2010 – #3 Fuente Fuente OpusX Belicoso XXX
2012 – #5 Arturo Fuente Rosado Sungrown Magnum R Vitola “Forty-Four”
2013 – #6 Arturo Fuente Don Carlos No. 2
#13 Fuente Fuente OpusX Super Belicoso
2014 – #6 Fuente Fuente OpusX PerfecXion X
2015 – #4 Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Belicoso
2016 – #6 Arturo Fuente Roasdo Sungrown Magnum R Vitola “Forty-Four”
Today, Arturo Fuente & Company and Fuente LTD continue to expand and flourish. One their newest accomplishments have been growing their own wrappers that has gained them international recognition. Stop in Nottingham Cigars and Pipes to see for yourself what 105 years of innovation and persistence tastes like at one of our three locations in Edmonton. We currently carry the following lines of Arturo Fuente cigars:
- Hemingway series
- Anejo series
- Opus X series
- Don Carlos series
- Magnum R series
- Chateau Fuente & Double Chateau Fuente series
- Flor Fina 8-5-8 series
- King T & Queen B
- AF Rothschild Natural & Maduro
- Curly Head & Curly Head Deluxe