More than four years after Carlos “Carlito” Fuente Jr. announced that his company would once again have a factory in Nicaragua, Arturo Fuente is finally ready to break ground on its new Nicaraguan factory. On Thursday, the company will hold a ceremony in Estelí to formally kick off the construction of its newest factory.

In the four years since the factory was announced many of the details regarding the factory have changed. Perhaps most notably, current plans call for a more subdued color scheme, even if it will be one of the more opulent-looking cigar factories in the world. Arturo Fuente is not disclosing many of the details about the factory until it opens, but Ciro A. Cascella, president of Fuente International, told halfwheel he expects the factory to take one and a half years to complete, which would put it on track to open in 2024.

As for what cigars will be rolled at the factory, Fuente Jr. has been coy about those details as well though he’s left open the possibility of rolling existing Fuente cigars as well as entirely new lines. Then there is the question of how many cigars the factory will roll and how many people that will take. Fuente has also declined to talk about that, but renderings shared with halfwheel show a factory that is much larger than the one that was announced in 2018. Wings have been added to both the left and right sides of the building shown above creating a much wider building that remains three stories. Furthermore, the property is being built so that Arturo Fuente could easily expand the factory away from the road.

Cascella declined to share how many workers the company plans on hiring but made it clear that the company plans on hiring and training its own workers similar to how it does things in Dominican Republic. This will not only include cigar bunchers and rollers but also workers for pre-industry, tobacco processing and packaging as Arturo Fuente plans on having the factory serve as a hub of its Nicaraguan operations, which already includes farms. Felix Mesa of El Galan Cigars will run Fuente’s Nicaraguan operations.

Currently, the company says the factory is being referred to as “Arturo Fuente Cigar Factory” but that seems like a working name. In 2018, it was announced as Gran Fábrica de Tabacos La Bella y La Bestia, Spanish for the great tobacco factory the beauty and the beast, but other names have been considered as well.

While Arturo Fuente is known today as a Dominican cigar company, it was actually in Nicaragua before it was in the Dominican Republic. After unsuccessfully trying to start a factory in the Dominican Republic in 1974, Carlos Fuente Sr. bought an existing Nicaraguan cigar factory and grew the operation to employ around 300 people. In 1979, the Nicaraguan Revolution began and Fuente’s Nicaraguan factory would not survive.

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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.