After working with Tabacalera Puros Aliados since the start of his company in 2013, Dr. Gaby Kafie has decided to begin producing his own cigars and has announced the opening of his new factory, Tabacalera G. Kafie y Cia, in Danlí, Honduras.
The 2,000 square foot facility will be run by Oscar Orlando Ferrera, who is known for his own cigar brand, Tabacos San Jeronimo. It has opened with a staff of 20 people, including 12 rollers, two master blenders, one leaf buyer and an individual overseeing tobacco fermentation.
In May 2016, Kafie announced that he became the distributor of Ferrera’s cigars in the United States.
Kafie is projecting the new facility to produce approximately 150,000 cigars a year split between his four blends, the Kafie 1901 Don Fernando Maduro, Kafie 1901 Connecticut, Kafie 1901 Sumatra, and the recently launched Kafie 1901 San Andres, which are all beginning their move over from the Reyes factory.
When Kafie announced the San Andres blend last June, he noted that it would be his final new blend, saying that “it is with great melancholy that I send you this email, as it is the last time we submit information on a new blend.” He cited the FDA’s deeming regulations which went into effect on Aug. 8 as the cause, calling the future gray, though assuring that “as a company we have taken all preventive measures to ensure the longevity of our brand in the coming years.”
The new factory won’t be taking on any contract brands, Kafie told halfwheel, adding that he wants to remain focused on producing his cigars and maintaining their quality and availability.
Kafie had nothing but praise and positive words for the Reyes family and their role in helping to launch his cigars. “Working with this factory allowed me to dive in and begin to create blends from a factory that already had infrastructure in place for over 25 years,” he said via a press release. “The process, methods, and materials used at this factory are as traditional as it gets in the cigar making process. The family, Doña Oneida, Don Enrique, and their sons really treated me like family. We enjoyed working with one another, and I enjoyed learning everything I could from them.”
Beyond the factory, Kafie does not have plans to expand into growing tobacco at the moment, and will maintain his policy of selling only to brick and mortar retailers. “Our loyalty lies with them, and we hope to continue to grow in a manner where quality is at the forefront,” he said.
He also noted that he will continue to produce his Kafie 1901 Coffee, with a portion of the proceeds going to Cigar Rights of America, and that each box of Kafie 1901 Cigars will feature a CRA stamp on it to demonstrate the company’s commitment to the organization.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Gaby Kafie/Kafie 1901 Cigars.