There’s no question that the field was neither as wide or as strong as it has been in the past for our new company of the year award.

Notably, almost all of the nominees we came up with were people that were new to owning brand—something that hasn’t been the case for much of this award’s history. That being said, one company clearly seemed to be performing like a much more established operation than the rest of the field: Fable Cigars.

Fable’s owners aren’t entirely new to the business. It’s the brainchild of Sean Kremenetski and Mitul Shah, the latter of whom owns four retail stores in New York, which is where its first line, Fourth Prime, debuted.

In May the company began shipping its cigars to retailers around the country through its distribution partner, Pospiech, Inc.—the company behind the Powstanie line of cigars and the ones responsible for the U.S. distribution of Chogüí. Like Powstanie, Fable’s Fourth Prime is made at Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A., the factory best known for producing RoMa Craft Tobac.

In addition to the business side, Fable’s cigars didn’t hurt its case for this award—Fourth Prime scored 89 in its debut.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.