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may 18th, 2024 | El Reloj Cigar Factory

Family Friendly Event Featuring:

  • Free Tours of our El Reloj Cigar Factory
  • Cuban Sandwich Eating Challenge featuring The Hungry Couple
  • Lawn Games
  • Balloon Artists
  • Meet the Misfits of Ybor Misfits Microsanctuary Chicken and Rooster
  • Local Food Trucks
  • $0.05 Cigars
  • MOSI children science experiment stations
  • Designated Outdoor Smoking Lounge

Join J.C. Newman Cigar Company for its fourth annual ‘Founder’s Day’ celebration at its historic cigar factory, El Reloj, in Tampa, FL.

On Saturday, May 18th from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., J.C. Newman Cigar Company will celebrate the founding of the company (May 5) and the birthday of its founder (May 26) by opening up the doors to their factory on a Saturday. Visitors can take a free tour of the factory, explore the cigar museum, peruse the factory store, or just celebrate outside by enjoying live music, food trucks, lawn games and more!  The event and museum is free and will be open to the public for exploring for the entirety of the day, but we do ask that if you purchase a cigar, you smoke it outside in our designated smoking lounge – ashtrays will be provided! Be sure you are following us on Instagram to get 10% off your purchase in our museum and factory store. There is no charge for tours during Founder’s Day and all are welcome to join and experience the beauty of El Reloj. We will also be selling Sanchez y Haya cigars, a recreation of Tampa’s first cigar rolled in 1886, for a special throwback price of 5 cents each (limit 2 per person) with any purchase of $20 or more.*

J.C. Newman’s main parking lot will be closed for the event but parking will be available and free in the other J.C. Newman owned lots in the El Reloj district. They will be marked with event parking signs. If you are using a GPS to get to the event, we recommend utilizing one of the addresses for our overflow parking lots below:

1509 E Columbus Drive, Tampa, FL 33605
1601 E Columbus Drive, Tampa, FL 33605
1530 E 15th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605

If you have any questions about this event, you can reach us through our Contact Form! We can’t wait to host you as we celebrate the founders of America’s oldest, family-owned, premium cigar maker!

*while supplies last

Cuban Sandwich Eating Challenge

Get ready for a mouthwatering showdown as competitive eaters Miki Sudo and Nick Wehry gear up to take on local first responders, esteemed local celebrities, and the enthusiastic employees of J.C. Newman Cigar Co. in an epic Cuban sandwich eating challenge. With their unmatched prowess and insatiable appetites, Sudo and Wehry are poised to demonstrate their remarkable eating abilities, while the local heroes and familiar faces from the community are prepared to give them a run for their money. Adding the flavorful touch of Cuban sandwiches from the renowned Columbia Restaurant, this gastronomic extravaganza isn’t just about satisfying hunger; it’s about setting a record for the most Cuban sandwiches devoured in a thrilling eight-minute frenzy.

J.C. Newman Cuban Sandwich Challenge 2024 Full Logo
Columbia Transparent logo

The Columbia Restaurant was recently voted Florida’s Best Cuban Sandwich by Southern Living readers.

The Hungry Couple

Miki Sudo and Nick Wehry
miki and nick with miki's championship belts in the background

Miki Sudo holds the women’s world record of 48.5 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs in 10 minutes. Miki won her ninth title on July 4, 2023 with 39.5 hot dogs and buns eaten.

Nick Wehry also holds various world records such as 50 hard boiled eggs in 3:02 minutes, 188 pistachios in 8 minutes, 223 chicken wings in 10 minutes, and 46 Moon Pies in 8 minutes. He is ranked #4 in the World of Competitve Eating.

When they’re not racking up records on the professional competitive eating circuit or searching for America’s Next Best Food Challenge, The Hungry Couple aids in restaurant promotions and enjoys an active lifestyle in their home state of Florida with their infant son Max and American Bully, Dennis.

miki and nick posing with her nathans hotdog championship belt

Couple’s Record-88 Hot Dogs in 10 Minutes!