The Coalition of American Cigar Rollers, a new organization that seeks to serve as the voice of the country’s domestic cigar making operations has announced its formation and launch in partnership with Cigar Rights of America.
According to a press release, the organization will seek to advocate against regulation that threatens the survival of companies that make cigars inside the United States. To do this, the coalition’s strategy includes holding briefings for the governors of states where cigars are manufactured, writing letters to and briefing their federal representatives, outreach and meetings with the Trump administration, and engaging their customers in the fight against federal regulation of premium handmade cigars.
“This is an important new step,” said Danny Difabio, owner of the Rodriguez Cigar Factory in Key West, Fla. and one of the coalition’s two co-chairs, along with Sandy Cobas, owner of El Titan de Bronze cigars in Miami, Fla. “The cigars produced in our small factories are among the best in the world, and made in America. That’s our message to the president’s administration, Congress, our governors, and customers throughout the nation. We just want to continue this art form that has been passed down from generation to generation.”
The Coalition of American Cigar Rollers currently has more than 30 companies from 16 states. For J. Glynn Loope of Cigar Rights of America, it’s a group that will bring a new voice to Congress and the administration as they share their story. “This is a unique new organization,” he said, adding that they will not only add additional voices to the battle against federal regulation but new and unique ones. He called them “a guild of skilled artisans that are uniquely a part of their community fabric, spanning from California to Key West. That’s a story that can certainly complement this ongoing effort to mitigate the threat of federal cigar regulations.”
For Cobas, the fact that many of the businesses are owned by women and minorities adds to the unique aspect of the organization. “Each of us in this coalition are small family-owned businesses. To confront the paperwork, expense, and time of these regulations is simply too much for many in this industry. We will each do our part to carry that message,” she said via a press release.
The charter group of members includes the following companies:
- Willy Cigars — Chandler, Ariz.
- Cuban Cigar Factory — San Diego, Calif.
- Gran Havana Cigar Factory — San Diego, Calif.
- Casa De Palma Cigar Co. — Denver, Colo.
- Cigar Factory Outlet — South Norwalk, Conn.
- Connecticut Cigar Co. — Stamford, Conn.
- Moore & Bode — Coral Gables, Fla.
- Cuban Leaf Cigar Factory — Key West, Fla.
- The Original Key West Cigar Factory — Key West, Fla.
- Rodriguez Cigar Factory — Key West, Fla.
- Aganorsa Leaf Miami — Miami, Fla.
- El Rey de Los Habanos — Miami, Fla.
- El Titan de Bronze — Miami, Fla.
- J.C. Newman — Tampa, Fla.
- La Faraona — Tampa, Fla.
- Long Ash Cigars — Tampa, Fla.
- Nicahabana Cigars — Tampa, Fla.
- Tabanero Cigars — Tampa, Fla.
- Kentucky Gentleman Cigar Co. — Frankfort, Ky.
- Indio Cigar Factory — Charleston, Ill.
- Cigar Factory New Orleans — New Orleans, La.
- En Fuego Cigars — Las Vegas, Nev.
- Jimenez Tobacco — Newark, N.J.
- Rodriguez Puros Cigars — Jersey City, N.J.
- La Casa Grande — New York, N.Y.
- Martinez Cigars — New York, N.Y.
- Santiago Cigar Factory — Rochester, N.Y.
- Flor de America Cigar Factory — Statesville, N.C.
- Ultimo Cigar Factory — Tulsa, Okla.
- Bobalu Cigar Co. — Austin, Texas
- El Cubano Cigar Factory — Houston, Texas
- House of Cigars — Dallas, Texas
- San Juan Cigar Co. — Kenmore, Wash.
- Stoney Creek Cigars — Morgantown, W.Va.