ACE Prime has a new name: Luciano Cigars.

The news comes as a follow-up to last week’s announcement that the company’s distribution agreement with Crowned Heads will end on Oct. 31. After that, the cigars will be distributed by Luciano Cigars. In a press release, the company said that “Luciano Meirelles’ decision to lead this next chapter reflects a desire to offer the customer increased value and proximity to the cigar maker, while ensuring a consistency of vision, values and execution in the end product.”

Meirelles told halfwheel that he is currently assembling what he referred to as a “dream team” of people who will join the company, ranging from a sales team to back office support. One person already on board is Tiago Splitter, who is listed as a co-founder of Luciano Cigars in a press release. Splitter, a former NBA player and current assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets, has been involved with ACE Prime since its launch in May 2019. Splitter, along with another former NBA player, Dominique Wilkins, both had cigars created with their names on them for the company’s M.X.S. line.

The factory producing ACE Prime’s portfolio of cigars is also getting a rebrand. D’Hatuey Tabacos S.A., which is described as the entity behind the Tabacalera Pichardo factory, will now be known as Luciano Cigar Factory. Meirelles told halfwheel that he and Splitter own the majority of the facility in Estelí, Nicaragua. He added that Eradio Pichardo will be spending more time on the agricultural side of the operation.

The press release announcing the changes also indicated that the holding company of Luciano Cigars will continue to hold all trademarks and importation rights to all existing products. As such, Luciano Cigars’ primary offerings will include all previous lines such as Luciano The Dreamer, Fiat Lux, Maria Lucia and Pichardo. Meirelles said he has other brands and collaborations that will be announced in the coming weeks.

“When I was developing the Maria Lucia Cigar, a cigar dedicated to the memory of my mother, I was drawn to the idea of legacy,” said Meirelles in a press release. “My heart is not for glory but I’m passionate to share the pleasure and beauty I experience when smoking a perfect cigar. Our goal is to build a brand that outlives us–something that’s meaningful and impactful for generations to come.”

As previously announced, Crowned Heads will continue to fulfill orders for ACE Prime products through the end of October, with Luciano Cigars taking over distribution on Nov. 1.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.