Cigar Snob Feature

Cigar Snob Feature


Keeping Tampa’s Legacy Burning

In the newest edition of Cigar Snob, you’ll find a great many interesting pieces, including a 92 rating on our Black Diamond Marquis cigar. But featured in the center is an amazing article on the four generations of Newman men, and how their legacy has continued throughout the years.

Cigar Snob author Steve Miller explores the roles each Newman has played in the success of the company. He also details a look to the future, and everything amazing in the years to come at J.C. Newman Cigar Co. and for Cigar City, Tampa, Florida.

Read the entire article by clicking below, and don’t forget to pick up your copy of Cigar Snob, wherever fine cigar publications are sold.



J.C. Newman on PCA: A Message to Retailers

J.C. Newman on PCA: A Message to Retailers

Dear Retailer Partners,

We are proud that our family has attended every RTDA/IPCPR/PCA trade show since the association was founded in 1933. We were looking forward to attending this year’s trade show, especially as we had planned to celebrate our company’s 125th anniversary there in a big way. Although we understand and support the decision to cancel the trade show, we will miss seeing you and all of our cigar industry friends in Las Vegas this summer.

Because this year’s trade show has been canceled, our J.C. Newman Regional Sales Managers are bringing our annual trade show specials to you in this summer issue of Outside the Box. In addition to some of our biggest and best deals of the year, we are excited to showcase our new Havana Q by Quorum, reintroduce Perla del Mar, and preview Yagua.

In July, we will finish restoring our 110-year-old El Reloj cigar factory in Tampa and reopen it to the public. Our historic factory will now include a new cigar museum, a theater showing old cigar films, factory store, events space, and new handmade cigar factory. We will be offering factory tours and seminars on cigar rolling and blending. We invite you to visit us and El Reloj once it is safe to travel again.

We hope that you and your families are staying safe and healthy.



Drew Newman
General Counsel
Fourth Generation


COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

We are continuing to roll cigars as usual at our J.C. Newman El Reloj factory in Tampa, Florida and at our J.C. Newman PENSA factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, but we will evaluate our operations as the situation develops. As a family business, we are very concerned about our employees and their families and are encouraging our staff who are ill, more vulnerable to illness, or need to stay home to care for children or aging relatives, to remain at home. We have also asked our sales people around the country to cancel their travel and work close to home for the time being.

In uncertain times like these, we think of the past. Our family business has survived two World Wars, the Great Depression, and many other challenges over the past 125 years, and we are certain that we will overcome this new business challenge as well.

In the depths of the Great Depression in 1933, my great-grandfather ran our cigar factory at full capacity with two shifts per day so that his employees could continue to earn an income for their families. The company did not make a profit that year, but being able to keep his workers employed during such a difficult time caused my great-grandfather to view the year as a success. If the economy worsens, being able to support our loyal and hardworking employees will again be our primary goal this year.

For hundreds of years, adults have enjoyed premium cigars for relaxation and celebration. During this time of social distancing, we hope that a fine cigar can continue provide moments of pleasure for adults around the world who may not be able to enjoy other parts of life right now.



Drew Newman
Fourth Generation Owner
General Counsel

J.C. Newman at PCA 2020

J.C. Newman at PCA 2020


As America’s oldest, family-owned, premium cigar manufacturer, we are proud to say that we have attended the very first RTDA trade show in 1933 and have attended every RTDA/IPCPR/PCA trade show since then. This year will be no different.

Throughout the many ups and downs in the cigar industry, the trade show is the one time of the year family-owned cigar manufacturers and brick & mortar retailers come together to discuss ideas to further our business and protect our industry. Given the many regulatory and legal challenges that manufacturers and retailers are facing today, the show is more important and relevant than ever.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Las Vegas in July. We will be at the PCA Trade Show and hope you will be too.




Eric Newman
Third Generation


Bobby Newman
Executive Vice President
Third Generation


J.C. Newman 125th Anniversary

J.C. Newman 125th Anniversary

In 1895, our grandfather/great-grandfather Julius C. (J.C.) Newman founded our family cigar business. Four generations later, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is America’s oldest family-owned premium cigar maker.  We proudly hand roll premium cigars today the same way that J.C. Newman did a century ago.

Today marks not only the start of the New Year but also our company’s 125th anniversary year.  We look forward to celebrating the major milestone throughout 2020. We invite you to join us at special events around the country, visiting our restored El Reloj cigar factory in Tampa when it reopens this spring, and by lighting up your favorite J.C. Newman cigar.

A key to our company’s longevity has been an unwavering commitment to quality craftsmanship and customer service. As a family-owned company, we personally stand behind all of our products and strive to ensure that each is perfect. Our family’s sole goal is to continue J.C. Newman’s legacy and our family tradition and keep rolling hand crafted premium cigars for another 125 years.

We are very grateful for your support of J.C. Newman and wish you and your family a very healthy, happy, and successful New Year!




Eric Newman
Third Generation


Bobby Newman
Third Generation


Drew Newman
Fourth Generation


Investing in the Future

Investing in the Future

As the oldest, family-owned premium cigar maker in America, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. has 124 years and four generations of history. Although my great-grandfather’s legacy and the lessons we have learned along the way are an important part of our company’s culture, J.C. Newman is anything but stuck in the past.

In preparation for our 125th anniversary next year, my father, uncle, and I are making a series of strategic investments in our family business. Some of these changes are operational while others are more cosmetic. However, all of these are investments in our long-term future. Our one goal as a company is to continue our family’s four-generation tradition of handcrafting premium cigars for another four generations and 100 years.

New Shipping Department

This summer we converted an old cigar box factory adjacent to El Reloj into a new, 10,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art shipping warehouse for Arturo Fuente and J.C. Newman cigars and accessories.  This modern facility is three times the size of our old ship-ping department.  It has significantly increased our shipping capacity and will allow us to provide faster order processing and delivery to our authorized retailers throughout the United States.



Expanded Capacity at J.C. Newman PENSA

The most important ingredient of any great cigar is high quality, aged tobacco.  There is simply no short cut to the years that it takes to properly ferment and age premium cigar tobacco.  As our sales of Brick House, Perla del Mar, Quorum, and our other brands continue to increase, we have run out of space to store and age our tobacco at our J.C. Newman PENSA factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.  Therefore, this month we are opening, a new, two-story tobacco warehouse adjacent to our factory so that we can increase our long-term tobacco inventory and ensure consistent blends for decades to come.

Restoring El Reloj

Our iconic El Reloj cigar factory in Tampa, Florida has been our home since my great-grandfather bought this historic building in 1954.  As a 109-year-old factory, however, El Reloj has been showing its age. This year we are investing in restoring El Reloj so that it can proudly continue Ybor City’s cigar legacy for another century. Among other things, we are replacing decades-old electrical systems and original plumbing.  We are reinforcing structural supports and repairing damaged floors.  We are updating our offices and restrooms throughout the factory and are rebuilding our terrazzo entrance steps. While all this work is taking place in El Reloj, we are still rolling 60,000 cigars per day and are shipping thousands of packages to customers around the country each week.


Creating the American Cigar Destination

When we rededicate El Reloj and reopen it to the public in early 2020, we will unveil what will become a premier destination for cigar tourists in the United States.  Our factory will be open to the public for tours.  We will have three floors of exhibits and event spaces, including a new, cigar museum with a theater showing historic cigar films.  We will have a new factory store showcasing cigars from Ybor City.  We will open a new handmade cigar factory on our third floor where we will roll The American and other cigars by hand.  We will have a rolling school where we will teach visitors how to roll cigars and will offer classes on cigar blending and tasting.  Just as wineries, distilleries, and breweries attract large crowds, we expect to welcome a thousand visitors per week to El Reloj next year. We hope that you will visit us!

J.C. Newman’s New Cigars: The Yagua and The American

J.C. Newman’s New Cigars: The Yagua and The American

J.C. Newman New Releases and the Company Legacy

Cigars produced by J.C. Newman, carry a legacy of dedication to quality, and history. Through two world wars, a great depression, and the cigar boom, many of our cigars have stood the test of time. As we approach our 125th company anniversary, we reflect on the cigars we’ve produced that have made an impact on the industry, all while looking ahead to what we can contribute to the future.

Innovation is key to growth but taking a moment to look into the past has allowed us to make decisions about the future. Two of the newest cigar additions to our catalog, the Yagua and The American, are taking us back to the roots of cigar making, while forging forward into the ever-changing palates of the cigar smoker.

Yagua from PENSA: The Imperfect Nicaraguan Cigar

This cigar will be far from the blemish free cigars that the industry has come to know and love. This cigar is birthed from a romantic story, told to Drew Newman by the J.C. Newman PENSA factory manager, Lazaro Lopez.

Lazaro recounted tales of his grandfather, working out in the remote tobacco fields of Cuba, far from the cigar factories in the cities. After harvesting the tobacco and allowing it to ferment, Lazaro’s grandfather would roll up a few cigars by hand to smoke for himself. Without any of the modern factory tools, Lazaro’s grandfather had to be resourceful. He took a few fronds from the Yagua tree – a royal palm that is native to Cuba – and tied them around a bundle of his hand rolled cigars to help give them a firm shape. While the unique binding technique worked, because the cigars were pressed together while still wet, they took the form of the other cigars they were tied to, resulting in cigars that were anything but round. Some cigars had five sides, others were more triangular, but none were the same.

Inspired by Lazaro’s childhood memory, we challenged our factory to make a cigar using the same process. The tobaccos were hand selected and fermented to mimic the boldness of his Grandfather’s freshly picked tobacco and the cigars are rolled wet, ensuring each cigar is uniquely shaped.  Named Yagua, after the palm leaves which bound the cigars, this new concept is sure to appeal to the seasoned cigar lover looking for something unconventional in the modern humidor.

The American: Back to Tampa Cigar Factory Roots

By now you’ve probably heard of our project, The American. After much anticipation, this cigar has recently shipped to select retailers nation-wide.

The brand was initially created by E. Regensburg and Sons – which originally owned the El Reloj factory J.C. Newman currently operates in Tampa, Florida. Though, at that time, the cigar was not 100% American made like today’s version, the original label has been enhanced, and elevated, while keeping the original symbolism in a nod to the history of the cigar.

The entire American production is only rolled by two hand-rollers here in Tampa, making the cigar very limited. When the factory re-opens in 2020 for our 125th company anniversary, we will have a significant portion of the 3rd floor dedicated to the tradition of hand-rolling cigars. With room for 14 rollers, and even a lector, El Reloj will look and feel like taking a step back in time; back to the early 1900’s of cigar making in Tampa. At that time more cigars will be rolled, and you will even be able to purchase limited edition cigars right here at the factory.

The Future of Cigars is Now

We’re so looking forward to sharing these cigars, and our factory with you next year, and for many years to come. Mark your calendars for the factory opening in Spring of 2020, and don’t forget to look at your local retailer for the Yagua, and The American, available soon!

The American Cigar

The American Cigar

Not only is The American hand rolled in the United States with American heirloom tobaccos, but all of the materials used to make and package The American come from the United States as well.

.• Wrapper tobacco grown in Florida
• Binder tobacco grown in Connecticut
• Filler tobacco grown in Connecticut and Pennsylvania
• Cigar molds made Florida
• Cellophane tubes made in Pennsylvania
• Boxes designed and made in Florida with wood from Ohio, ink from Illinois, and hinges from Massachusetts
• Labels and bands design in New York and printed in Florida on paper from Wisconsin and ink from North Carolina
• Inside booklet designed and printed in Florida with sketches drawn in Massachusetts on paper from Wisconsin and inks from Florida


Introducing The All-American Cigar

In 1895, my great-grandfather, Julius Caeser Newman, founded our family business. Four generations later, the J.C. Newman Cigar Company is the oldest family-owned cigar company in the United States of America. There are many old, multi-generational family businesses in the premium cigar industry. What sets us apart is
that J.C. Newman Cigar Co. is the oldest family-owned premium cigar maker in the United States.

As we began approaching our company’s 125th anniversary, my wife, Ariel, had the idea to create an all-American, handcrafted cigar – something that had not been done for decades. Her vision led to this project. The American was the first cigar rolled in our “El Reloj” factory in Tampa, Florida when it opened in 1910. To celebrate
our company’s 125th anniversary, we have relaunched this historic cigar brand.

What makes The American unique is that it is the first 100% all- American cigar. From the tobaccos to the cigar molds to the boxes, labels, and cigar bands, everything about this very special cigar is made in America.

This project speaks to the heart of who we are: a four-generation American family business still owned and operated by the founding family. When you light up The American, you are celebrating the centuries-old tradition of handcrafting premium cigars in America.


About Ybor City and El Reloj


Traditionally, each Tampa cigar factory had a nickname. Our factory is known as “El Reloj,” which means “the watch” in Spanish, because of the factory’s six story clock tower. Neighbors used the clock tower and its large bell to tell time and as a signal for when to go to work or school, to return home, and to go to sleep.

In 1951, the Regensburg company that built El Reloj went out of business. Two years later, my great-grandfather fell in love with the building and bought it and decided to relocate his family and cigar business from Cleveland, Ohio.

Today, we roll two types of cigars in El Reloj. First, skilled cigar rollers use hand-operated, antique cigar machines from the 1930s to roll value-priced cigars. Additionally, we roll The American and other cigars entirely by hand.

In the middle of the 19th Century, cigar makers fled Cuba and settled 90 miles to the north in Key West, Florida. In 1885, Vicente Martinez Ybor moved his cigar factory from Key West to what was then an undeveloped area north of the small town of Tampa. Soon, others followed
and the new community became known as “Ybor City.”

Within a few years, the cigar industry transformed Tampa into the largest city in Florida. At its peak in the early 20th Century, Tampa had more than 150 cigar factories and 10,000 cigar workers who rolled more than 500 million cigars a year by hand. Tampa was internationally known as the “Fine Cigar Capital of the World.”

When El Reloj opened in 1910, it was heralded as the largest and finest cigar factory in the world. It was designed for 1,000 cigar workers and built at a cost of $75,000. It has a red brick exterior with wooden beams, a sloped slate roof, and a distinctive clock tower. Like most cigar
factories in Tampa, the factory has three floors and a basement, runs east and west, and is 50 feet wide. It has tall ceilings and large windows to maximize the amount of natural light.


History of The American

The American cigar brand was created in the 1880s by E. Regensburg & Sons, a well known cigar company in New York City. These cigars were first rolled at Regensburg’s cigar factory on Canal Street in Lower Manhattan. By the end of the nineteenth century, The American had become very famous.

In the early 1900s, the Regensburgs decided to move their operations from New York to
Tampa, Florida because Tampa had become internationally known as the “Fine Cigar Capital of the World.” They built the “El Reloj” cigar factory in Tampa’s Ybor City cigar district. When El Reloj opened in 1910, The American was the first brand of cigars rolled in our factory. More than a century later, we have recreated The American’s original shield and cigar band from the late 1800s.

About the Flag in the Shield

With The American, we have recreated the original shield and cigar band from the late 1800s. Many have asked why The American’s shield includes the Puerto Rican flag. Like Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico has a rich tobacco heritage. Puerto Rican revolutionaries exiled in New York City created a flag similar to Cuba’s to support their campaign to liberate the island from Spanish rule. In support of this fight for independence, this flag design was incorporated into The American shield and cigar band when the brand was created in the late 1800s. Puerto Rico adopted this design as its official flag many decades later in 1952.

J.C. Newman Announces the Launch of The American on May 31

J.C. Newman Announces the Launch of The American on May 31

J.C. Newman Cigar Company, America’s oldest family-owned premium cigar maker, is excited to announce the launch of The American cigar brand at two simultaneous events in Orlando and Tampa on Friday, May 31:

Date:               Friday, May 31

Time:               6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m


Corona Cigar Co.
7792 W. Sand Lake Rd.
Orlando, FL 32819

Jeff Borysiewicz
and Drew Newman   



Davidoff of Geneva Since 1911
4142 W. Boy Scout Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33607

Bobby  Newman
and Eric Newman



What makes The American unique is that it is the first 100% American cigar.  These luxury cigars are hand rolled by Americans in a historic United States cigar factory using heirloom American cigar tobaccos.  The boxes, bands, labels, cigar molds, cellophane tubes, and other parts of this unique project are all made in the United States as well.

“The American speaks to the heart of who we are: a four-generation, 124-year-old, American family business,” said Drew Newman, great-grandson of company founder J.C. Newman.  “Our country’s rich premium cigar tradition dates to the Colonial Era.  As an American, I wanted to prove that we could hand roll a world-class cigar in the United States using American tobaccos.  I am thrilled that we have created an outstanding all-American cigar.”


The American is the first cigar rolled with Florida Sun Grown wrapper, grown by Corona Cigar Co.’s Jeff Borysiewicz in Clermont, Florida.  The binder is Connecticut Broadleaf grown by eighth-generation family farmer Jon Foster and the filler is a blend of Foster’s Connecticut Havana tobacco with tobaccos grown by the Mennonites in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

“We are delighted to see our exclusive Florida Sun Grown wrapper tobacco being used on a cigar that is hand crafted in America’s ‘Cigar City,’” said Borysiewicz.  “A hundred years ago, it was commonplace for Florida-grown tobacco to be rolled into cigars in Tampa’s numerous cigar factories. We are proud to be working with the Newman family to bring back this long lost cigar-making tradition after a 50 year hiatus.”

The American was the first brand of cigars rolled in J.C. Newman’s El Reloj factory when it opened in 1910 in Ybor City, Florida.  J.C. Newman has recreated this historic brand in El Reloj to celebrate J.C. Newman’s 125th anniversary next year.  In anticipation of this anniversary, J.C. Newman is investing in a major historic restoration of El Reloj.  This project includes a new cigar museum, factory store, handmade cigar factory-within-a-factory, tours, seminars, and event space.  Once complete next year, El Reloj will be the premier destination for cigar tourism in the United States.

The American will initially be released in four sizes and in boxes of 20 with a suggested retail price of between $16.00 and $19.50.  For more information about J.C. Newman and The American, please visit:

What is J.C. Newman PENSA and What Do We Make There?

What is J.C. Newman PENSA and What Do We Make There?

You may have heard the term J.C. Newman PENSA when researching our company, especially in the last few weeks. The name is actually an acronym, the letters of which stand for, ‘Puros de Estelí, Nicaragua Sociedad Anonima.’

This factory, located in the rapidly growing city of Estelí, Nicaragua, is the origin of many of our highly-acclaimed cigars; most notably Brick House, Quorum, and Perla del Mar.

The number of cigars imported from Nicaragua continues to grow year over year and Estelí is the epicenter for the industry. Why is Estelí such a hot spot for Nicaraguan cigars? The soil, the culture, and the people.

Nicaraguan Soil and Growing Region


 Estelí, Nicaragua is a major region for tobacco growing and rolling. More than 15 cigar manufacturers have their Nicaraguan operations in Estelí, and that doesn’t even include the tobacco farms.

With its rich, volcanic, fertile soil, tobacco seeds easily take root in the valleys of Estelí. The black soil produces thick leaves that are full of flavor and a unique spice; our Brick House wrapper leaves are grown on farms that are mere miles away from our J.C. Newman PENSA factory.

The growing season falls between September and May. The rainy season occupying most of the summer, reinvigorating the soil for strong, aromatic leaves.

The Factory and J.C. Newman PENSA Employees



 J.C. Newman PENSA and the over 800 employees there are one giant machine, working in a perfect circuit to bring your favorite cigars to local retailers.

Tobacco comes in from all over Nicaragua (and all over the world) and is fermented, sorted, and stripped at PENSA, giving J.C. Newman full control of the cigar creation process.

Hundreds of skilled rollers make between 400 and 600 cigars daily with such precision and delicacy, it can only be described as an art form.

Future for J.C. Newman in Nicaragua


As our cigars continue to grow in popularity, J.C. Newman PENSA continues to expand. Brick House, Quorum and Perla del Mar cigars require more rollers, more quality assurance, and more tobacco that needs to be cured and sorted, every year.

J.C. Newman PENSA is currently the second largest cigar factory in Nicaragua and shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. With a team of master blenders and seasoned cigar makers, J.C. Newman will continue to create new blends and brands showcasing the unique flavor of Nicaragua. The recent addition of the TAA exclusive ‘Ciento por Ciento’ is one such blend example. Keep your eyes on us as we continue to create beautiful Nicaraguan cigars for you to enjoy.