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Tampa: Cigar City

History Of Fine Cigars in Tampa FL


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Welcome to my blog, on here I will write about many things that I would like to share with you.

So we start off with fine cigars and the history behind them.

So welcome to Cigar City Tampa, Florida. Tampa was once known as the Cigar Capital of the world. Today only a couple of large cigar manufacturers and a few boutique cigar manufacturers remain.

Here is some history of Ybor City AKA( Cigar City).

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Vicente Martinez-Ybor, originally from Spain immigrated to Cuba at age 14.  At a young age, he fell in love with the Cigar industry and his passion for Cigars quickly became a reality.

In 1856 Martinez-Ybor founded his own company in Havana, Cuba and began manufacturing his El Principe de Gales (“Prince of Wales”) brand. The brand quickly became popular, and Martinez Ybor’s factory was soon producing 20,000 cigars a day.

Martinez-Ybor fled Cuba and escaped to Key West Florida, due to Spanish Government putting a bounty on his head for helping the Cuban people break away from Spain.

During that time Martinez-Ybor found out that a friend of his founded a City name Tampa Fl and wanted him to move there so he can move his Cigar Business to Tampa.

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Image result for how many cigar factories in tampa


He purchased 40 acres from the city of Tampa to begin his production. Vicente built the biggest cigar factory in the world in 1886. He believed that in order for the cigar industry to be successful that he needed to encourage others to get involved in manufacturing cigars. The industry grew quickly to 200 cigar factories in Ybor City which accounted for the production of 600 million cigars manufactured per year.

After the years those cigar factories started to dwindle, at one time, there were over 200 cigar factories gracing our City’s skyline. Unfortunately, there are now only 24 factories left. Of those 24, 5 are abandoned. However, the remaining 19 factories are being utilized as offices, churches, schools, warehouses, and a few are even being used for cigar related businesses.

But one thing is for sure Tampa will always be known as Cigar City to us.

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