Midweek Roundup – Oliva, Graycliff, Toraño, La Aurora, and Red Lion, PA (Oh My!)
In political news, José Oliva, president of Oliva Cigar Co., won a primary election to fill a vacant seat in the Florida House of Representatives, according to a post by Cigar Aficionado. Oliva will run on the GOP ticket against write-in candidate Antonio Moreno, though Oliva is considered the favorite at this point. Oliva is running on the platform of “lower taxes, small and accountable government” and “conservative family values,” and will rally to make Florida a “business-friendly state.”
Meanwhile, in the Bahamas, Graycliff Cigar Company has appointed the Toraño Family Cigar Company as their official U.S. distributor. “After many years of doing our own distribution, we decided that it was best if we partnered with Toraño to handle that part of our business, so we could focus on the production side,” said Paolo Garzaroli, president of the Graycliff Cigar Company, in a press release. “We chose Toraño for the similarity in our family values and because our respective cigar brands will complement each other very well,” he added. This means not only that Graycliff can focus on quality control and new blends, but also that we’ll most likely be carrying Graycliff cigars in the near future, so keep an eye out.
Back in the Dominican Republic, Guillermo León has just acquired La Aurora S.A. from E. León Jimenes, according to Cigar Aficionado. León had been running La Aurora S.A.’s cigar division for 15 years, and completed the purchase of the company this week. Previously, E. León Jimenes had owned La Aurora since 1903—of the transition, León has commented that “The philosophy won’t change,” in reference to how the company conducts business. I hope this means we can expect some new blends from La Aurora, because pretty much everything I’ve had from them has been fantastic.
On a somewhat sadder note, G.W. Van Slyke and Horton, the last cigar factory in Red Lion, Pennsylvania, has officially closed, according to a story on FOX 43’s website. Red Lion, PA was once responsible for about 10 percent of the cigars in the U.S., but due to higher taxes and a drop in smoking, the town has all but fallen off the cigar map. The remaining equipment from GW Van Slyke and Horton will be auctioned off, and according to the story, some of the equipment has been sold to a company in Central America, though the article didn’t mention which one. We’d like to extend a fond farewell to the factory, and salute Red Lion, PA’s crucial role in American cigar history.