In late May, Dr. Gaby Kafie of Kafie 1901 Cigars and Tabacalera Kafie y Cia. announced plans to change the name of his factory in Danlí, Honduras to Tabacalera La Unión as part of an ongoing expansion that included the building of a box factory and the production more cigars for brands beyond the one he owned.
While the growth plans are still in process, the name change has hit a roadblock as due to a trademark infringement claim, the factory will not be adopting the La Unión name and will be known as Tabacalera Kafie. Dr. Gaby Kafie told halfwheel that while they had done a thorough trademark search prior to adopting the name Tabacalera La Unión, it was later learned that another company in the premium cigar business already owned the rights to the name. He said that at this point, “we have learned that it is in our best interest as a company, family, and premium cigar brand to name everything to honor our family name. The Kafies have quite an amazing history as a family in Honduras and Central America. We wish to put this name forward. The factory moving forward shall be known as Tabacalera Kafie.”
Kafie shared the news via his Facebook page on Monday:
“It saddens me to change the name, but I am always happy to know that we are doing right thing in respecting our colleagues in the industry,” Kafie said. “We live and learn, always seeking to better ourselves and everyone around us.”
Kafie had selected the La Unión name as a way to pay homage to his family lineage as well as reflect some changes that the factory has undergone since opening in 2017. The name was a nod to his grandfather and the city of La Unión, El Salvador. La Unión was also selected as it reflected the growing union between Kafie and Oscar Orlando Ferrera, his business partner and local supervisor who also owns a wood factory, Taller de Carpinteria Oscar Orlando Ferrera, as well as their respective families and businesses.
“I am a very humble person and I like to give others credit when they deserve such recognition, it was for that reason that I had initially chosen La Union,” Kafie added. “As the name and our factory represents the union of many people with amazing talents and spirits. I wanted to shed light on our ‘team’ and ‘united’ way of thinking.”
This is the second time that Kafie has run into an issue with the La Unión name; in 2016 he announced the Kafie 1901 La Unión cigar line, only to have to rename it after a claim on the name was filed by J.G.G. Tobacco Holding Co. Inc., which is owned by Jaime Garcia and has many of the trademarks on cigars in the My Father Cigars portfolio. It is not known if J.G.G. Tobacco Holding Co. filed the claim regarding the factory.