50 years ago, we pioneered an industry by crafting the first premium cigars to ever come out of Nicaragua. Today, we are the most international brand of our country, with presence in over 50 markets, and growing.
The history of Joya de Nicaragua is as rich as Nicaragua's evolution over the last five decades as one of the most complex and enchanting countries in Latin America.
We are honored and humbled of our history, because of it we can talk about our experience with authenticity. We invite you to explore our beginnings and traditions as we continue to build towards a future of hope
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.
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.
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.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.
On September 1978, the new factory is destroyed during the Sandinista Popular Uprising. 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.
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.
There is a growing demand for Nicaraguan cigars. Dozens of factories open in Estelí. The rebirth of the Nicaraguan tobacco industry begins.
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.
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.
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.
Tabacos Puros de Nicaragua S.A is renamed to Joya de Nicaragua in 2009, as an acknowledgement of its great brand value. 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.
Under the leadership of Juan Martínez, JDN has solidified its portfolio with the modern JOYA line. Also, proudly carrying the legacy of the authentic Nicaraguan “Puro” with the revamped Antaño line and the re-launch of the Clásico. All of these changes were designed by the youngest executive team in the industry.
We are humbled and proud of 50 years of perseverance and success. There’s no better way to celebrate the first five decades of the Nicaraguan cigar industry and our factory, than to recognize the people behind it all. Stay tuned since we are going to be celebrating throughout the year.
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