Caldwell Cigar Co. to Distribute La Barba Cigars

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Tony Bellatto’s La Barba Cigars has a new distributor, and it’s his good friend Robert Caldwell. Today, Caldwell Cigar Co. announced that it has entered into a distribution agreement with La Barba Cigars, and will also take over manufacturing of the company’s brands, changes that go into effect immediately.

Caldwell Cigar Co. has entered into an agreement with La Barba Cigars to take over manufacturing and distribution of the La Barba brands, the latter of which Bellatto had been handling himself since launching the brand in 2013.

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In a press release, Bellatto said that while he has had “great success with La Barba over the last couple of years, our only limitation has been being able to make and distribute enough cigars. We are confident that this arrangement with Caldwell will help to solve our supply and distribution needs and free up time to promote and build the brand.”

Tony Bellatto Robert Caldwell 2

Bellatto will continue to work on blending cigars while maintaining a travel schedule of La Barba events and visiting retailers. Plans for a new line are in the works, which is scheduled to be announced at the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in July and will be a collaboration with Caldwell.

“Tony Bellatto has been a great friend of mine since I first started with the Wynwood Cigars project; he came down to Miami and worked on La Barba right in front of me,” Caldwell commented in a press release. “He is a visionary and has a great palate. I am looking forward to working with him in this new relationship. It is something that works well for both of us,” Caldwell said.

The pair have been working together for several years, most notably on a project called Lost&Found, where Caldwell brings back cigars discovered while visiting factories. That collection of cigars was originally launched in February 2014 under the name Impromptu name before undergoing several name changes, first to Bellatto/Caldwell/Sears, which incorporated Jaclyn Sears’ name and reflected the three people behind the project: Caldwell doing the finding, Sears doing the design and Bellatto handling distribution. That got shortened to BCS, a short-lived name that became Lost&Found in February 2015.

La Barba Purple is currently produced at Tabacalera William Ventura, the same factory that Caldwell Cigar Co. uses for its cigars.

(Images courtesy of Caldwell Cigar Co.)

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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.

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