Owner and Chairman
The Fuente Companies
CARLOS A. FUENTE
(1935--2016)
Owner and Chairman
The Fuente Companies
CARLOS A. FUENTE
(1935--2016)

Arturo Fuente, Sr. had originally envisioned passing the small family cigar business on to his eldest son, Arturo, Junior, but it was his younger son Carlos that spent the most time working in the firm, so it was to him that it was offered in 1958. Carlos Fuente, Sr. bought the business from his brother for exactly $1—purchasing $1,161 in assets and zero debt. At the time the company made only a few thousand cigars a year.

Carlos, Sr. was ambitious and sought to expand the business, first seeking to establish new accounts in other parts of Florida before setting his sights on New York City. Fuente initially targeted a Hispanic market for its product. Growth was slow since cigar smokers of the era were brand loyal and not prone to the sampling of new products.

The United States embargo against Cuba would change all that.

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