Miami Cigar & Co., the company founded 25 years ago by Mariana and Nestor Miranda, is in the early stages of its biggest changes.

Today, the company will announce Jason Holly, owner of the Viva Republica brand, will be joining the company with a focus on brand development for both Miami Cigar & Co. and La Aurora, which is distributed by Miami Cigar in the U.S., and account relationships.

Holly, who broke into the business as the owner of El Humidor in Wilkes-Barre, Penn. launched the Viva Republica brand two years ago. It is made by La Aurora at the company’s E. León Jimenes Tabacalera factory in the Dominican Republic. The company makes the Rapture, Rapture Maduro and Guerrilla Warfare lines.

Under the new agreement, Viva Republica will now be distributed by Miami Cigar & Co. Retailers can begin ordering through Miami Cigar today. Holly will also serve Miami Cigar & Co. with a lofty travel schedule visiting retailers in the U.S. He will report directly to Jason Wood, vice-president for Miami Cigar.

“We plan to increase our emphasis on traditional channels,” said Wood. “It is time for the cigar industry to see the new Miami Cigar, the addition of (Jason) Holly is exactly what we needed to get a jump start to our 25th Anniversary campaign.”

Holly is hardly the only change.

The company’s portfolio will be reshaped. It has already announced the Nestor Miranda Special Selection lines will be rebranded as Nestor Miranda Collection. It will debut later this spring in the form of the Nestor Miranda Collection Habano, a new line described as a hybrid between the older Rosado and Oscuro lines. In addition, the Special Selection Connecticut will be rebranded as Nestor Miranda Collection Connecticut, but the blend will stay the same. It will debut alongside the new Nestor Miranda Maduro at the 2014 IPCPR trade show and convention in July. The lines will be made by My Father Cigars S.A. in Estelí, Nicaragua.

Tatiana, the company’s flavored line, will remain the same. Añoranzas and Casa Miranda Chapter Two will continued to be made and remain unchanged for the time being. The company has discontinued Humo Jaguar and ended its distribution agreement with La Sirena Cigars late last year.

In the U.S., La Aurora will focus on four current offerings: La Aurora 107, Fernando León Family Reserve, Guillermo León Family Reserve and Preferidos. León Jimenes will continue to be sold in U.S., but at more simplified price points.There are two new offerings coming from La Aurora at the IPCPR trade show and convention this year. Both are projects Holly has been developing with La Aurora since last year. In the U.S., La Aurora 1495 will now be sold exclusively through large catalog retailers.

By the July trade show, Wood told halfwheel every brand would be price protected, including products like 1495 that are sold exclusively through catalogs.

Holly will join Wood at the Tobacconists Association of America meeting and convention later this month and then will begin traveling to visit accounts.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.