The four-story brick building was built in 1895 for Garcia Brothers & Co. and was later used for the shipping and warehousing of tobacco products. At one point it was occupied by the Salvador Rodriguez Cigar Company and its “Charles the Great” cigar brand.
In 1964, The Arturo Fuente Cigar Company moved into the building as demand required more space. In later years, inflation and the inability to find skilled workers caused the company to look elsewhere. In 1994, Arturo Fuente closed it’s operations at the factory. At that time, Arturo Oscar retired and started the Tampa Sweethearts Cigar Company in the same building.
Today, the Tampa Sweethearts Cigar Company is still in business, selling cigars rolled in the Dominican Republic by Tabacalara A. Fuente y Compania, and are in the process of renovating the factory.
Photo(Nomeus, 2007 – Flurbex.com): Equipment on one of the upper floors of the cigar factory.
Tampa Sweethearts – The website for the Tampa Sweethearts Cigar Company