Liana Fuente, the multi-talented woman behind the Fuente brand, talks vision, family legacy and the future

by Natalie Glorney

BEING THE GRANDDAUGHTER OF the late Carlos Fuente, Sr. and daughter of Carlos Fuente, Jr. must carry quite a responsibility. The Arturo Fuente brand is renowned in the cigar world as the manufacturer of the world’s finest cigars. Celebrating 100 years of hard work, dedication and family tradition in 2012, Fuente cigars are a global benchmark for the cigar industry. From humble beginnings, the company has grown from strength to strength and most importantly, is still family-owned and operated in the Dominican Republic.  Read Entire Story!

Tobacco Business Awards Woman of the Year

Tobacco Business Magazine held its second annual Tobacco Business Awards at an exclusive invite-only ceremony held in Las Vegas on Feb. 11, 2019. This year’s event took place at The Sayers Club within the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and had close to 270 premium tobacco retailers, manufacturers and media in attendance.

Held in conjunction with the Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE), the Tobacco Business Awards was designed to honor and recognize exceptional businesses, professionals, and products of the tobacco, vapor and alternative industries. This year’s ceremony was a full-on featuring of who’s who within these industries as the magazine announced the winners of the 2019 awards. This year’s awards expanded to 12 categories that could be voted on by the magazine’s print and digital readers and one non-publicized award given to an industry icon that was announced and revealed for the first time during the ceremony. New categories introduced at the 2019 awards included Nicaraguan Cigar of the Year, Dominican Cigar of the Year, Boutique Cigar of the Year, Accessory Manufacturer of the Year, Tobacconist of the Year and Woman of the Year. This year’s awards had close to 8,000 votes, nearly four times the votes of the 2018 awards.

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WOMAN OF THE YEAR: LIANA FUENTE (ARTURO FUENTE)
Liana Fuente is the very first recipient of Tobacco Business’s Woman of the Year award, an honor Fuente doesn’t take lightly but also one she doesn’t accept without acknowledging not just the other women who were nominated but all the others who have contributed to the tobacco industry in general.

“You have no idea how humbled and excited I am that people chose me as the first Woman of the Year [award recipient],” Fuente says. “For so many years growing up in this industry, it was always about men. Honestly, women have been a crucial part of this industry. In 1912 my grandfather Arturo [Fuente] started his company in the back of his house. He didn’t do it alone—he did it with his wife, Christina. When times were tough, she said, ‘OK, baby. We’ll do it together,’ and she rolled cigars with him. After that, his sons and his daughters grew the business. Now, 107 years later, we are here to say, and I am proud to say, we’re a family business with women and men working together to keep the tradition and culture alive.”

Liana Fuente was born into the cigar industry. When thinking about her childhood, cigars were as much a part of her family’s everyday life as food and water. She had many great mentors in the business, including her father, Carlito, her grandfather, Don Carlos, and her great-grandfather, Arturo, who showed her that hard work does pay off. In addition to being inspired by male figures, the women in her family have also shaped Liana’s approach to business and entrepreneurship.

“We work in what has historically been a male-dominated industry, so it is inspiring to see so many women in it now,” she says. “I was raised and am always surrounded by strong and passionate women in the Fuente family, and I hope more and more women will join this industry. Their hard work and dedication will be an invaluable asset to our great cigar industry for years to come.”

Fuente acknowledges the other women nominated alongside her this year, describing them all as strong and amazing, and saying that her win is also theirs. For the Fuente family, which has a long history in the premium cigar space that dates back over 100 years, her recognition as the first Woman of the Year is something she says they are very proud of.

Her advice to other women is simple: Never forget that you have a place in the tobacco industry. “Women are as much a part of this industry as anyone else,” she explains. “Never forget that many women have come before you, working in the factories while providing for their families. When people say the word ‘sacrifice,’ it has no gender; ‘discipline’ has no gender; ‘grit’ has no gender. Stay strong, be creative, and always, always speak your mind. You bring a lot to the table, such as innate passion and dedication, and the cigar industry will be better for it.”

#WhereIsCarlito

Carlito travels the world spreading love and telling the Fuente family story to all. This has inspired us to bring something fun to you. Please take your “EL PAPO DEL HUMO” bobblehead and spread some love all over the globe. Take pictures with ”Carlito” in the most exotic and creative places or anywhere you think he may be. Whether next to the Statue of Liberty, sky diving off the Grand Canyon, or just having “Carlito” next to man’s best friend, let us all have fun!

How to Play:

  • Take a cool creative picture with your “El Papo del Humo” anywhere in the world;
  • Upload your picture to Facebook and tag the Where is Carlito page;
  • Upload your picture to Instagram and tag @whereiscarlito or hashtag #whereiscarlito

The best creative pictures posted on Facebook and Instagram will have an opportunity to win fun monthly prizes!!!!! Let the fun begin!!!

How Cigars Became a Symbol of Luxury

Cigar insider Carlito Fuente on how a simple smoke transformed into a premium status symbol.

Robb Reports

BY RICHARD CARLETON HACKER

Carlos “Carlito” Fuente, Jr. is president of Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia, the largest family-owned premium cigar company in the world. Headquartered in Santiago, Dominican Republic, they employ 4,000 people and produce 30 million cigars a year.

The company was founded in the United States in 1912 by Arturo Fuente, who came from Cuba and was eventually joined in the business by his son, Carlos Fuente, Sr., and then his grandson, Carlos Jr. (Carlito) and granddaughter Cynthia. At various times since the Cuban embargo, the Fuentes had factories in Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, and Honduras, often losing everything due to civil unrest. Finally, in 1980, they settled in the Dominican Republic.

Since then, Carlito Fuente has become the persona of the Fuente brand and with his late father, brought back many figurado shapes and introduced innovative blends. Entire rooms in their factories are dedicated to their most famous cigars, including the Don Carlos, Hemingway, and OpusX  – a cigar that revolutionized the industry by becoming the first successful all-Dominican puro.

Hublot Honor World’s Rarest Cigar With King Power Arturo Fuente

Luxury watchmakers Hublot have announced the creation of the King Power “Arturo Fuente”, a watch made in tribute to the Opus X, a cigar which connoisseurs have dubbed the rarest in the world.

The Opus X is no ordinary cigar, so you can be certain the King Power “Arturo Fuente” timepiece is just as extraordinary.  This limited edition timepiece will be delivered in a genuine cigar case of Macassar ebony and carbon which bears the Opus X and Hublot logos. Inside the case is a special edition of Arturo Fuente’s Opus X cigar. Arturo Fuente Sr. founded his eponymous company in 1912 in West Tampa, Florida. Today the brand is world-famous for their premium, hand-rolled cigars.

Only 100 pieces of the Gold version of the King Power “Arturo Fuente” will be produced, while the Ceramic version is limited to 200 pieces. Check out our exclusive gallery to see more views of this timepiece, as well as the limited-edition cigar case.

Arturo Fuente Cigars back in Nicaragua!

On Jan 26th, Carlito Fuente surprised those in attendance at Puro Sabor 2018 when he announced that “Carlito’s Back!” in Nicaragua. Having had a presence in the country in the 1970s, Arturo Fuente has returned to build a cigar factory in the heart of Esteli with the name “Gran Fabrica de Tabacos La Bella y La Bestia.” The concept of the colonial design, which is a tribute to Nicaragua, was created by Carlito and designed by Manny Iriarte. In addition, Carlito announced that Felix Mesa, an experienced tobacco man and owner of El Galan Cigars, will oversee operations at the new Fuente facility. Finally, Carlito shared his desire to bring to Nicaragua his United Nations-recognized Cigar Family Charitable Foundation, which has helped so many children in the Dominican Republic. Aside from Carlito, Felix and Manny, Liana Fuente was in attendance at the announcement representing the 4th generation of the Fuente family.

The People Behind the Cigars We Love

Robb Report AUGUST 28, 2014

During the 82nd annual International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show held in Las Vegas in July, we had the opportunity to spend some quality time with the people who make some of the finest cigars in the world.

In the coming weeks, we’ll share with you the conversations that we had with those influential cigar makers, highlighting the passion that they have for their craft and their recommendations for cigar smokers who are looking to develop a discerning palate for quality tobacco. We won’t give away too much here, but what we will say is that from all of those conversations, one thing was made abundantly clear: Cigar making is an art form, one that—in most cases—has been passed down through multiple generations of a family, and one that remains a labor of love for all who excel at it.

This week’s video highlights the people behind the business of luxury cigars and features legends of the craft and newcomers to the trade.