"A family brand belongs with the family," asserted Charlie Toraño, president of what is now called The Toraño Family Cigar Co.
In 2008, Toraño contractually ceded its distribution rights to C.A.O. International Inc., but starting August 1, Toraño will take back the rights and start distributing its own cigars again.
"The family is taking over the brand," said Toraño. "C.A.O. is a good company and they did a good job, but it's in better hands with us."
Toraño maintains, however, that the decision had nothing to do with the recent merger of Scandinavian Tobacco Group (C.A.O.'s parent company) and General Cigar Co.
"We were looking to do this since the end of 2009 [before the merger] anyway," said Toraño "Originally, we had planned on taking back the brands in January of 2011, but the merger gave us the opportunity to pull out earlier."
And with the reclaiming of the family name comes a new brand identity. What was Toraño Cigars has been changed to Toraño Family Cigar Co.
For more on the story see the next issue of Cigar Insider.
Also, read the Cigar Aficionado interview with Charlie Toraño.