A roller inside the J.C. Newman cigar factory, located in Tampa’s historic Ybor City.
In 1895—when steel magnates, financiers and railroad tycoons ruled America’s Gilded Age—there were around 42,000 cigar factories in the United States, with 300 in Cleveland alone. Even far-flung cities like Davenport, Iowa had a thriving cigar industry. At the time, there were so many people rolling cigars in this country that cigarmakers had their own union.
Today, it’s quite rare to see a cigar factory in the U.S. And if you live in a flyover state, you probably won’t find any at all. Regardless of this sad fact, we managed to find 50.
After some research, we put together a list of 50 places in the U.S. that are still sourcing tobacco and rolling their own smokes by hand, day in and day out. Some are very small, modest operations with only one or two rollers making a house brand for locals. Others are famous, places like J.C. Newman, El Rey de Los Habanos, Aganorsa Leaf and El Titan de Bronze, responsible for producing nationally distributed brands. A number of the locations on this list even produce handmade cigars that are highly rated by this magazine.
As you might expect, the largest concentration of cigar factories today is in Florida, namely Tampa and Miami—areas where Cuban cigar rollers have been expatriating since Castro’s Revolution.
While 50 U.S. cigar factories is a far cry from 42,000, small operations like these still play a valuable part in keeping cigar culture alive. Should you find yourself in the vicinity of one of these factories, we encourage you to stop in, try a smoke and enjoy a piece of modern-day Americana.
Cuban Cigar Factory (one roller), San Diego
Gran Havana Cigar Factory (two rollers), San Diego
Cigar Factory Outlet (one roller, two days a week), South Norwalk
Connecticut Cigar Co. (one roller), Stanford
Making cigars often means you get to smoke while you work. Inside the Aganorsa Leaf Miami cigar factory (formerly Tabacalera Tropical), a roller takes a puff of one of her handmade smokes.
Moore & Bode, Coral Gables
Cigar Factory Social Club (one roller), Destin
Don Pablo Cigars, Fort Myers
Cuban Leaf Cigar Factory, Key West
The Original Key West Cigar Factory, Key West
Rodriguez Cigar Factory, Key West
Aganorsa Leaf Miami (formerly Tabacalera Tropical), Miami
Cuban Crafters, Miami
Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co., Miami
El Rey de Los Habanos, Miami
El Titan de Bronze is a boutique cigar factory and shop located in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.
El Titan de Bronze, Miami
Guantanamera Cigars, Miami
Havana Classic Cigar, Miami
Little Havana Cigar Factory, Miami
Cigar Factory Social Club (one roller), Pensacola
J.C. Newman, Tampa
JDV Hand Rolled Cigars, Tampa
La Faraona, Tampa
Long Ash Cigars, Tampa
Nicahabana Cigars, Tampa
Tabanero Cigars, Tampa
Ybor Cigar Plus, Tampa
Most of the cigars made in Tampa’s J.C. Newman cigar factory are made on antique cigar machines, but some are rolled by hand.
Indio Cigar Factory (one roller)
Boston Cigar Factory (no retail space, but sell their own brands online and do events)
En Fuego Cigars (one roller), Las Vegas
Ruiz Cigars, Sparks
Alvarez Cigars, Perth Amboy
Hoboken Cigars (one roller), Hoboken
Jimenez Tobacco, Newark
Rodriguez Puros Cigars, Jersey City
D.P. Cigars, New York City (Manhattan)
La Casa Grande, New York City (Bronx)
Martinez Cigars, New York City (Manhattan)
Rosario Cigars LLC, New York City (Bronx)
Santiago Cigar Factory, Rochester
A cigar mold inside El Rey de Los Habanos, My Father Cigars’ Florida cigar factory.
Bobalu Cigar Co., Austin
El Cubano Cigar Factory, Houston
House of Cigars, Dallas