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The Casa de Montecristo empire grew on Friday, as the company announced that it has acquired Tampa Humidor in Tampa, Fla. and will be building a new store in the city as well that is due to open in April.

Additionally, Tampa Humidor’s Mike Howe will be joining the Casa de Montecristo team, according to Steve Lochan, ceo of Casa de Montecristo.

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Both the existing location of Tampa Humidor, at 1418 E. Busch Blvd., and the to-be-opened location, at 510 S. Howard Ave., will share the name, Casa de Montecristo by Tampa Humidor. In addition to cigars, Tampa Humidor offers a selection of beer and wine.

Howe and Casa de Montecristo entered into a partnership agreement several years ago, but now the Tampa locations are officially owned by Casa de Montecristo, which is the brick and mortar retail chain from Imperial Brands, plc.

“We are thrilled with acquisition of the Tampa Humidor lounges and www.TampaHumidor.com,” said Lochan via a press release. “Mike Howe is a great visionary and has built an incredible operation with his brick and mortar business, e-commerce site and new location on South Howard. Moreover, the team at Casa is proud to have Mike Howe onboard as we continue moving toward our goal of being the premium cigar lounge destination delivering the highest quality selection, service and experiences for all adult cigar smokers.”

Tampa has been on the map for Casa de Montecristo for some time; in February 2017 it was reported that the two entities would come together for a franchise location.

“I am very excited about joining the Casa de Montecristo team,” said Howe in a statement. “CdM’s acquisition is definitely going to elevate the adult cigar smoker experience for many in the Tampa Bay area. It will be a winning combination for many years to come.”

While there was no word initially given on the future of the store’s signature event, the Tampa Cigar Bash, shortly after this story was published, a spokesperson for Casa de Montecristo confirmed to halfwheel that the event would continue.

The Casa de Montecristo program was first introduced in 2008. The program includes company-owned stores and licensed-based partnerships with some of the top established premium cigar retailers in the country.

This is the first acquisition of the new year for Casa de Montecristo and comes on the heels of a busy 2017. The company purchased Prime Cigar & Wine Bar in Boca Rotan, Fla., renaming it Casa de Montecristo by Prime Cigar; it also entered into a licensing agreement with Phoenix-based Churchill’s Fine Cigars to rename four stores Casa de Montecristo by Churchill’s Fine Cigars. Additionally, the store opened locations in Nashville, Tenn. and Austin, Texas.

This puts the total number of Casa de Montecristo and JR Cigar locations at 27, with 19 owned by Imperial/Tabacalera USA and 8 franchises or name affiliations:

  • Austin, Texas — Casa de Montecristo
  • Boca Raton, Fla. — Casa de Montecristo by Prime Cigar
  • Boynton Beach, Fla.*— Casa de Montecristo
  • Burlington, N.C. — JR Cigar
  • Countryside, Ill.* — Casa de Montecristo
  • Dallas, Texas — Casa de Montecristo
  • Detroit, Mich. — Casa de Montecristo
  • Glendale, Ariz.* — Casa de Montecristo by Churchill’s Fine Cigars
  • Houston, Texas — Casa de Montecristo by Serious Cigars (Champions)
  • Houston, Texas —Casa de Montecristo by Serious Cigars (Galleria)
  • Houston, Texas —Casa de Montecristo by Serious Cigars (JFK)
  • Houston, Texas —Casa de Montecristo by Serious Cigars (Webster)
  • Las Vegas, Nev.* — Casa de Montecristo
  • Miami, Fla.* — Casa de Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar
  • Mooresville, N.C. — Casa de Montecristo by JR Cigar
  • Nashville, Tenn. — Casa de Montecristo
  • New York, N.Y. — Casa de Montecristo by Cigar Inn (2nd Ave.)
  • New York, N.Y. — Casa de Montecristo by Cigar Inn (73rd Street)
  • Paramus, N.J. — Casa de Montecristo
  • Phoenix, Ariz.* — Casa de Montecristo by Churchill’s Fine Cigars
  • Phoenix, Ariz.* — Casa de Montecristo by Churchill’s Fine Cigars
  • Selma, N.C. — JR Cigar
  • Tampa, Fla. — Casa de Montecristo by Tampa Humidor
  • Tampa, Fla. (to be opened) — Casa de Montecristo by Tampa Humidor
  • Tempe, Ariz.* — Casa de Montecristo by Churchill’s Fine Cigars
  • Washington D.C. — Casa de Montecristo by JR Cigar
  • Whippany, N.J. — JR Cigar

*Denotes franchise store not owned by Imperial Brands/Tabacalera USA.

Imperial Brands, plc is a British tobacco conglomerate that owns a variety of cigar-related businesses including the world’s largest cigar factory, a 50 percent stake in Habanos S.A., minority stakes in a plethora of Cuban cigar distributors, and Altadis U.S.A, which markets brands like Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta in the U.S.

Charlie Minato contributed to this story.

Update — Shortly after this story was published, information about the Tampa Cigar Bash was confirmed by Casa de Montecristo and the story was updated accordingly.

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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.