EXCLUSIVE: J.C. Newman Opens Nicaraguan Cigar Factory

The owners of J.C. Newman Cigar Co. have opened a cigar factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, a project they have kept secret for more than a year. This will be the first time since the 1930s that the Newman family will be making cigars by hand in one of their own factories.

The new facility, which opened two weeks ago, is a 55,000 square-foot, one-story building called Puros de Estelí Nicaragua S.A., also known as PENSA. It was designed for efficiency, as tobacco is delivered on one side in bales and moves throughout the building, exiting on the opposite side as finished cigars at the loading dock. At full capacity, the facility can make well over 20 million cigars in a year.

Most of PENSA’s production will be a $2 cigar called Quorum, a Newman bundle brand made from mixed-filler tobacco that has been doing exceptionally well in recent years. In an exclusive interview with Cigar Aficionado last week in Tampa, J.C. Newman president Eric Newman said the brand had sales of about 8 million units per year, growing at 15 percent annually.

Quorum was previously made at Nicaraguan American Cigars S.A. (NACSA), one of the busiest cigar factories in the world.

“We don’t own that factory. We have too much at risk there,” said Newman. “They’ve been as cooperative as they can be, but they couldn’t produce enough cigars to meet our demand.”

For the full story on this news, see today’s Cigar Insider.

"Excellent news for all concerned. Congratulations" —October 26, 2011 14:46 PM