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Kretek Acquires Foundry

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Michael Giannini will once again be heading Foundry.

Kretek International has announced that it has acquired Foundry Tobacco Co. from Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG). Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but effective immediately, Kretek’s premium cigar division—Ventura Cigar Co.—will begin distributing Foundry’s Time Flies blend and says there are more new products in the works.

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In 2012, General Cigar Co. launched Foundry as an offshoot of the company’s core portfolio and the personal project of Michael Giannini, who was best known for his work with the La Gloria Cubana brand. While General’s best sellers are Macanudo and a variety of Cuban brands, Foundry was known for its bold designs and out of the box themes.

During his tenure there were multiple steampunk-inspired projects, including some featuring metal gears as packaging, a cigar inspired by Martian tobacco as well as tributes to inventors and the periodic table.

While there was an extensive amount of innovative concepts, the sales never seemed to follow. By 2016, General Cigar Co. announced that it would turn over the distribution of Foundry to independent sales brokers and later that year some releases were canceled. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Giannini would leave the company after over a decade and a half of tenure.

Since then, General has greatly reduced the Foundry portfolio and only a single new Foundry product—a revamped Temple Hall Estates blend—was introduced, something Ventura says will change.

“It’s both a new day, and a familiar day,” said Giannini, general manager for Ventura Cigar Co., in a press release. “To see Foundry boxes on my Ventura Cigars’ desk is a little bit unreal. And yet, it seems so normal to have them sitting there. Almost like they are returning home. I’m thankful to General Cigars for taking such good care of the brand, and to the solid relationship between General and Kretek International that enabled this new phase for Foundry. I’m proud to represent the brand, both where it started, and now where it’s headed.”

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Charlie Minato
About the author

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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