Arturo Fuente Winner in Two 2020 Tobacco Business Awards Categories

The third annual Tobacco Business Awards ceremony were held at an exclusive invite-only in Las Vegas on Jan. 30, 2020. The awards were held in conjunction with the 2020 Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE) at Club 101, located within the Sahara Las Vegas with close to 300 premium tobacco retailers, manufacturers and media in attendance.

The Tobacco Business Awards were designed to recognize exceptional and outstanding entrepreneurs, businesses and brands operating within the cigar industry. To reflect the diverse businesses and products that makeup the industry, other categories such as accessories, mass-market products, retailers and franchises are also recognized at the awards. This year’s awards were rolled out differently than those in previous years as the nomination phase was opened up to the entire industry–retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and consumers–and a group of finalist were voted on from Nov. 1-Dec. 31, 2019. By the time the final vote was cast, nearly 11,000 individuals had cast their vote for 11 different categories. One award, the Hugo Chairman Award which is named after Kretek International’s chairman Hugh Cassar, was chosen by the magazine’s staff and a select number of industry insiders.

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2019 COMPANY OF THE YEAR — ARTURO FUENTE

JANUARY 15, 2020 CHARLIE MINATO AWARDS – HALFWHEEL

For the last four years, Arturo Fuente has been on the most aggressive modernization campaign this industry has seen. Its main factory in the Dominican Republic has been renovated, new buildings are up at its Chateau de la Fuente tobacco field, the company is buying more fields in Nicaragua, there are plans for an ornate factory in Estelí, a box factory—perhaps the largest in the western world—is set to open soon and the company built a new bonded warehouse in Tampa. Most of these things didn’t happen in 2019, but the Arturo Fuente Construction Co. has been as active as any in the cigar industry and 2019 was no exception.

Beyond buildings, Fuente has revamped its international distribution with the launch of Arturo Fuente International. Perhaps most importantly, the company has made massive commitments to supplying these markets with products. There are new partnerships with companies like Stefano Ricci, and new developments in partnerships with its longtime partners: the Newmans and Meerapfels.

What is perhaps the most interesting aspect to this is that 2020 might be Fuente’s biggest year to date: it marks the 25th anniversary of OpusX and the 20th anniversary of Añejo.

If there is one metric where Fuente stands clearly above everyone else, it is popularity on halfwheel in 2019. If we focus solely on the articles we write about a singular company or a singular cigar, i.e. no legislation or editorial, half of the 10 most read articles about a singular company were about Fuente.

So while there might be no singular metric or moment that crowns our winner, Fuente’s body of work was as good as any in 2019.

Statement from the Fuente Family regarding the 2020 PCA Trade Show:

January 13, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement from the Fuente Family regarding the 2020 PCA Trade Show:

As we have for the past 50 years, Arturo Fuente will once again participate in the 2020 PCA Trade Show. “Our commitment to retailers is a core value of our company and family, one that will never waiver,” stated the company’s Chairman Carlito Fuente.

“Since the 1970 RTDA show in New York City, my family has supported the RTDA/IPCPR/PCA and we remain committed to Brick & Mortar tobacconists as the irreplaceable link between cigar manufacturers and consumers. They tirelessly work, day-in and day-out in the retail side of our beautiful industry, and are on the front lines assisting and educating our wonderful consumers. Arturo Fuente will always support Brick and Mortar tobacconists and do right by them.”

“We truly believe that members of the PCA are an extension of our family, and the annual trade show is the single most important event in keeping our families strong and successful. We look forward to spending quality time with everyone at the PCA show in Las Vegas.”

I’ll Be There. Will You?

CigarsLover Magazine Awards Best Brand Dominican Rep.

WINTER 2019 – CigarsLover Magazine

One of the most prestigious brands in the cigar world had his humble beginning in 1912 in West Tampa, Florida. Arturo Fuente, after a fire burned down the factory in 1924, restarted the brand 22 years later and produced cigars, made out of Cuban tobacco and for the local market, on his back porch. In 1958, the company was sold to his younger son Carlos Fuente Sr. for exactly $1. Carlos expanded the company outside of Florida to New York. After the embargo and no more access to Cuban tobacco, Carlos started looking for tobacco from new regions. With the labor costs increasing the family trying to move production to other countries, but the quality of these factories was insufficient. In 1970 they built their factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. Disaster would strike again only nine years later, as the factory was burned down during the Nicarguan Revolution. Carlos, together with his son Carlito, invested everything that was left and in 1980 built their factory in Santiago, in the Dominican Republic. Many disasters struck again, but the family always stood back up. In they 1980s they scored their first success with introducing the Hemingway line. They also, against all odds, grew their own wrapper in the Dominican Republic, which is used for the Opus X line. Today, Arturo Fuente Cigars are famous for their many lines, such as the Hemingway, the Don Carlos and many more. Their Opus X line is one of the most luxurious cigar lines in the world, which recently celebrated its 20 year anniversary. Over the years they have enjoyed continues success with great ratings in our magazine. This year, to continue their growth worldwide, they, together with the Meerapfel family, launched Arturo Fuente International. With this launch, they now have a warehouse, located in Belgium, that can cover the demand worldwide. In a fast moving world, with the focus always going to the next best thing, Arturo Fuente has to stay relevant and on top of the cigar world.