Foundry Tobacco Co by Michael Giannini (video)

Michael Giannini of Foundry Tobacco Company explains the inspiration behind this unique brand.


Hi, I’m Michael Giannini from Foundry Tobacco Company. I’m going to tell you a little bit about what Foundry Tobacco Company is. Foundry Tobacco Company is a world of creativity. It’s a world where I get to pretty much create whatever is an inspiration in my life that I get to see.

So what I’ve created with Foundry 1.0, 2.0 and then this year at our trade show 2014 it’s an homage to Steampunk which basically is if the Victorian era jumped in a time machine, grabbed our iPhones and our iPads. Took them back and reconstructed them with only the materials that they had at the time which are very, very sexy. Leathers and brass and all those beautiful materials. What would your computer keyboard look like and what you would see is those plastic keys would be taken out and you would see typewriter keys in there. So that was the first inspiration of what Foundry was.

The second inspiration which was 2.0 which we launched last year in 2013 was Edison versus Tesla world of currents. How we built the power grid in the United States. What we did was we created a gear for the first version. The second version had a fuse and what happens is the story never ends, it just transfers. So what we did with the first version is we took the gear and it opens up a humidor. The fuse that’s on the cigar for last year’s version is actually going to do something next year and then this year I’m going to tell three more chapters to destroy and that whole thing is going to end.

But the idea behind this creative concept is also, I didn’t want to use tobaccos that were used in the industry because the concept was so interesting to me. I wanted to use tobaccos that have never been used in the industry, so I went to our tobacco guys. I’m like, “Hey man, I don’t want to use Dominican, Honduran, Nicaraguan, Mexican, Sumatras, any of those type of tobaccos. What do we have?” At General Cigar Company, I was able to tap into our tobacco warehouse and library and we found these tobaccos that are small batches.

Meaning afterwards 5 bales, 10 bales, 15 bales, 18 bales of stuff. Stuff that was never enough to do anything with and the reason it was sitting there because most of this tobacco was either experimental or tobaccos that were going to be grown over the last 25 years that was never utilized.

So what I wanted to do is take these little small batch tobaccos and put them together. But the most important thing I didn’t want to do is taste them ahead of time because I didn’t want to make a connection to your blend. That was more intriguing to me so when we put the blends together and I didn’t mention this. Some of this tobacco is from 1983, 1992, ’94, very, very old 25 year plus old tobacco. When you taste this blend what happens is your brain has no idea what it’s smoking and that’s the great unique thing. So I ask a lot of people, “Have you ever had Swahili food?” That’s what Foundry cigars are.

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