My Father Cigars has acquired the Fonseca cigar brand from the Quesada family, who have rolled Fonsecas in the Dominican Republic for 45 years. My Father will be shifting production of the brand to Estelí, Nicaragua, and plans some changes to the cigar. The Cuban version of Fonseca dates back to the 1800s.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Manuel “Manolo” Quesada has been making Fonsecas in the Dominican Republic since he opened his first factory in that country in 1974. The cigars were originally rolled in Santiago, then moved to Licey when Quesada’s company opened a new factory in that part of the country. The first non-Cuban Fonsecas were rated in the Spring 1993 issue of Cigar Aficionado.
The Cuban version of Fonseca was created in the 1890s by Francisco Fonseca, according to Habanos S.A. (The cigar brand is not related to the Port of the same name.) Today, the brand is one of Cuba’s smaller ones, with only a few sizes still in production. Spain is one of Fonseca’s bigger markets.
It was in Spain that talks for the sale began. In September, Janny Garcia of My Father Cigars spoke with Patricia Quesada, one of Manuel’s daughters, about the potential for a sale. Garcia has worked with Patricia and Raquel Quesada in the past on a cigar brand called Tres Reynas (or Three Queens), which debuted in 2012.
“For us, it’s a huge honor that Manolo agreed to sell the brand to us,” said Garcia in a conversation with Cigar Aficionado this morning. “We couldn’t be prouder of such a name.”
“We felt that Fonseca deserved a nice home,” said Manuel Quesada to Cigar Aficionado. “And we found it.” Quesada, 72, is a member of the Cigar Aficionado Hall of Fame.
The Garcia family has ties to Fonseca that go beyond this deal; when they were cigar rollers in Baez, Cuba, some of the family members actually rolled Fonseca cigars, along with many other Cuban brands. “Jaime and Pepin made Fonseca,” said Janny Garcia.
Janny Garcia said the company has plans to make changes, while respecting tradition. “We’re going to add that touch of My Father,” she said, “but we want to honor the Cuban vibe of the brand.”