amongst the most brutal in the world.
In 1916, Santiago Toraño left Spain for Cuba and founded Toraño & Co., brokering Cuban tobacco to companies both on and off the island. The brand saw success and growth so quickly, that by 1920 he had to bring his three brothers down from Spain to help him run and grow the company further. Through this business, the Toraño family built a close business and personal relationship with the Cullman family, owners of General Cigar Co.
The tobacco industry was a family affair for the Toraño’s. Santiago’s sons Carlos, Jaime, and Jose fell in love with the tobacco industry just like their father before them. Not to be outdone, Santiago’s daughter strengthened their ties to tobacco royalty when she married Ramón Cifuentes of Partagas cigars fame.
The Toraño’s tobacco business grew to be a sizable operation. The family gained control of 23 farms. By the end of the 1930’s the Toraño family was growing their own tobacco, mainly shade wrappers, in addition to their brokering operation.
Carlos Toraño was initially a supporter of Fidel Castro, but when Fidel revealed his true nature the Toraño family fled Cuba, and as a result they lost everything when the tobacco industry was nationalized. When they heard about what had happened, General Cigar Co. saw an opportunity to bring a cigar legacy into the fold and invited Carlos to work with them in the Dominican Republic.
Following the passing of Carlos and his brother Jaime, Jaime’s son Jimmy was charged with running Toraño, and asked his cousin Carlos, named for his father, to leave his computer business and join the family business. With the family legacy on the line, Carlos agreed and went on to become the leading force behind the Toraño families third generation of success.
In an effort to supply more complex tobacco blends, the Toraño family toured the world, sampling tobaccos from countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Spain, Jamaica and India, in additional to their staple farm in the Dominican Republic. But it wasn’t until 1981, that Toraño & Co. truly began to focus on growing tobacco.
In 1991, industry tensions led Carlos to buy Central America Tobacco, a company that served as an intermediary between tobacco growers and production companies, and the move helped them benefit from the cigar boom. But the biggest move happened in 1994, when they decided to manufacture their own cigar brands.
Now it was time for the next generation of Torano to join the family industry. Carlos’ son, Carlos “Charlie” Toraño, maintained his passion for tobaccos while pursuing a degree in law. In 1996, he saw an opportunity to help the company grow and he joined the family business.
As the cigar boom began to die down in 1998, and the Toraño family saw several of their brands disappear. To help overcome the challenges of the post-boom industry, the Toranos invested further in the consistency and quality of their cigars by opening up their first factory in Honduras and Nicaragua.
The decision proved to be fruitful. The factories began creating premium cigars for companies such as CAO, Gurkha, and Dunhill, to the point that General Cigar bought their factories in 2008. The company rebranded as Toraño Family Cigars in 2010 with a renewed focus on building relationships with their customers. Four years later General bought all the Toraño Family Cigars’ brands, keeping the Toraños on board to ensure the quality remains.
Toraño cigars reflect over 100 years in the tobacco industry that span over 4 generations of the Toraño family. The rich history behind Toraño guarantees that the cigar is a first-rate smoke, with the new generation of Toraños following in the footsteps of their ancestors, continuing to provide first class tobacco to the masses.