The Original Nicaraguan Cigar

Joya de Nicaragua was established in 1968, making it the very first premium handmade cigar manufacturer in Nicaragua. We are located in the city of Estelí, in what has come to be known as the tobacco capital of the world. Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, S.A is a 100% nicaraguan owned and operated company that develops, manufactures and markets internationally renowned cigars brands.

About Joya

We are proud of our roots

A conversation with Dr. Alejandro Martínez Cuenca, Owner of Joya de Nicaragua.

Watch the video

Our History

The history of Joya goes hand in hand with Nicaragua's evolution over the last five decades as one of the most complex and enchanting countries in Latin America. The richness of our history allows us to be conscious and humbled of who we are, while allowing us to talk about our experience with authenticity. We invite you to explore our beginnings and our traditions as we continue to build towards a future full of hope.


Nicaragua’s first Tobacco Law

Explorations to identify the best soils and climates for tobacco growing begin. This year marks the industry’s genesis.


Tobacco grows in Estelí

The “Havana Tobacco Pilot Project” determines that Estelí and Condega (Northern Nicaragua) have the best lands for tobacco cultivation. Juan Francisco Bermejo and other Cubans arrive, recognize great potential in the area, and start growing Cuban tobacco seeds.


The birth of Joya

On February 29, J.F. Bermejo and Simón Camacho establish Nicaragua Cigar Co., the country’s first cigar manufacturer, at the heart of Estelí. They produce Joya de Nicaragua, the first national cigar brand to be marketed worldwide.

1969 - 1970

International market

Joya de Nicaragua reaches the United States through A. Oppenheimer & Co., one of the most important companies of its time; meanwhile, Comsys of London imports it to Europe. This gives Joya privileged display in the world’s premium markets.


A dictator in love with cigars

Anastasio Somoza D., dictator of Nicaragua, meets with President Nixon and learns that Joya is the official cigar brand of the White House. Nicaraguan cigars start to be known in the United States as an alternative to Cuban cigars.

1972 - 1974

New owner

Under political pressure, J.F. Bermejo sells part of Nicaragua Cigar Co. to dictator Somoza, who takes advantage of his position to bolster Nicaraguan cigars. Besides Joya, the company produces other renowned brands such as Rosalones, The Fifty Club and Count Christopher.

1976 - 1978

Bonanza brings change

9 million Joya de Nicaragua cigars are exported. Behind this effort are 600 workers. Nicaragua Cigar Co. moves to a new, modern building in the outskirts of Estelí, where it still is today. Anastasio Somoza D. and Daniel Rodríguez take over 100% of the company. On September 1978, the new factory is destroyed during the Sandinista Popular Uprising.


The revolution

The Somoza dynasty comes to an end on July 19th, with the Sandinista Popular Revolution. On September, Nicaragua Cigar Co. workers rebuild the factory and begin production in temporal sites. During four months, they work without salaries and survive with Government’s assistance.


The reconstruction

After the factory was rebuilt, the company becomes part of the Oscar Turcios Chavarría state run enterprise. Its former owners illicitly manage both brands, Joya de Nicaragua and Rosalones, which makes it difficult for Nicaragua Cigar Co. to sell them in the United States. To solve this crisis, brands like Montelimar and Rubén Dario are created.


New opportunities

To overcome sale drops in the United States market, Joya de Nicaragua and Rosalones cigars are exported to France, East Germany and Canada.


New obstacles

The United States imposes a commercial embargo on Nicaragua, making it impossible to sell cigars in the world’s most important market. Civil war begins in Nicaragua and it severely affects the northern part of the country. Women and youngsters remain in the factory, while men fight in battlefields.


Peace arrives

The Revolutionary Government is no longer in power and the civil war ends. State companies, such as Nicaragua Cigar Co., are privatized. Joya de Nicaragua is still not selling in the United States.

1992 - 1994

A new era

After a decade of embargo, the authentic Joya de Nicaragua, produced and manufactured in Estelí, returns to the United States with great success. In 1994 Tabacos Puros de Nicaragua S.A, owned by Doctor Alejandro Martínez Cuenca, acquires Nicaragua Cigar Co.


The Cigar Boom

There is a growing demand for Nicaraguan cigars. Dozens of factories open in Estelí. The rebirth of the Nicaraguan tobacco industry begins.


Joya de Nicaragua returns home

Tabacos Puros de Nicaragua S.A. recovers the Joya brand in the United States and SAG Imports starts its distribution. By the end of the year, Hurricane Mitch devastates the northern part of the country, including great extensions of tobacco crops. Hundreds of thousands of citizens, as well as the tobacco industry, suffer serious damages.


Antaño 1970

Doctor Martínez Cuenca develops Antaño 1970, a blend that recalls nostalgia for the authentic Nicaraguan cigars. Due to its elevated strength, it becomes an icon for the industry and is recognized as one of the most important in the Full Bodied Cigars category.


Among the world’s finest

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Nicaragua Cigar Co.’s acquisition, a new blend is developed: Celebración. On the same year, Cigar Aficionado magazine places it among the 25 best cigars in the world.


The Joya-Drew Estate Alliance

The distribution of Joya de Nicaragua in the United States is now managed by one of the most a innovative companies of the industry: Drew State, headed by Jonathan Drew. A perfect marriage between authenticity and innovation is established.

2009 - 2011

Changing name and innovating

In 2009, as an acknowledgement of the great brand value of Joya de Nicaragua, Tabacos Puros de Nicaragua S.A is renamed after it. Cabinetta Serie and Antaño Dark Corojo are produced. These innovative brands heighten the attributes of Joya and enhance its broad flavor and strength. In 2011, the classic brand, Rosalones, is reactivated.


C y B: top 1 by Consensus

Cuenca y Blanco, currently C y B, is produced as a result of the collaboration of master blenders Doctor Alejandro Martínez Cuenca from Nicaragua, and José Blanco from Dominican Republic. C y B is named number 1 in Halfwheel's Consensus Top 25.

Our Process, Our People

Our Craft, Our Passion

Our cigars are handcrafted by the most skilled tabaqueros using the finest tobaccos. They have been handcrafting cigars, on average for more than 28 years. The Joya process is completely human centered, with each leaf processed and every cigar rolled and cared-for by hands; it's focused on consistency and special attention to detail. All of our cigars are filled with the essence of our people; their experience and passion are what makes Joya what it is.

Stage of the process

Our tobaccos are stored and aged between 1 and 5 years.

Each tobacco leaf is carefully selected and classified by hand according to its main characteristics such as size, texture and color, to be used in a specific cigar line.

To create each unique and special blend, we combine tobaccos in just the precise proportions. This process is know as blending.

The rolling process is done completely by hand, by pairs of workers: one bunches and the other one rolls the wrapper.

Each cigar made on our production floor is inspected by hand to guarantee that it satisfies our most demanding quality controls, and promises the finest smoking experience.

The aging process allows for the tobaccos to actually “marry and balance together” and to develop the character and distinctive flavor of each brand. The aging process lasts for around 60 days and continues throughout the life of the cigar.

Each cigar is dressed with its brand and is packaged in hand-made custom wooden boxes.

"Nicaragua is rich in cigar tradition,
  energy and exotic nature."

© 2017 Joya de Nicaragua S.A.

© 2017 Joya de Nicaragua S.A.

Our Cigars and all tobacco products are for adults only. This page is limited to visitors of Legal Age according to their respective country of residence.

None of the content presented here is intended for the use by minors. By exploring this page, you accept that you are older than 18 years of age.

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