Dr. Gaby Kafie’s factory has a new name.

Today, he announced that the facility in Danlí, Honduras will now be known as Tabacalera La Unión, a change that he said came about as the facility grew and he wanted to pay homage to his family lineage as well as reflect some changes that the factory has undergone since opening.

While the factory opened in 2017 with the focus on producing Kafie 1901 Cigars & San Jerónimo Cigars, it has expanded in both scope and size.

Kafie’s business partner and local supervisor, Oscar Orlando Ferrera, owns a wood factory, Taller de Carpinteria Oscar Orlando Ferrera, also in Danlí. Recently, Kafie acquired new land in Danlí to build a bigger and better box factory, which is where over 75 brands currently produce their boxes.

“The natural growth of the box factory as well as the cigar factory has led to Oscar Ferrera and myself working more and more on our infrastructure,” said  Kafie, adding that the company has also begun producing its own cellophane and is employing 104 people at the moment.

With the growth, Kafie turned to his family’s history, specifically his grandfather and the city of La Unión, El Salvador, for the factory’s new name. La Unión was also fitting in reflecting the growing union between the Kafie and Ferrera families as well as their businesses.

“Initially the factory was named after me, but I feel that what we are doing is much bigger than any one person,” said Kafie. “The changing of name also brings to light that we now also produce eight other boutique cigar brands on the market. In essence, we are a union of brands that have come together to support this new venture.”

Kafie has since added several lines to his production roster, including The Chief Cigars, Amendola Cigars, J.M. Asik Cigars, RTB Cigars, Stogie Road Cigars and Beyond Kuwait Cigars. He says there are several others he has confidentiality agreements with and therefore can not disclose. The new La Unión name is a nod to these brands as well all being under the same roof. “Unidos somos mas fuerte,” he said, referencing the factory’s new logo which bears that phrase and means “united we are stronger.”

One area where Kafie says the company is not expanding into is growing tobacco. “At present time we have no interest in doing so,” he told halfwheel.

“Our focus as Honduran natives is in creating good jobs for the people of Honduras while making sure to produce the finest goods we can,” Kafie said, adding the pressure to keep Honduras in the discussion as its number of factories has fallen to 12, while he counts 174 in neighboring Nicaragua. “It is more important than ever to claim Honduras as the country where we produce our cigars, we must keep Honduras vibrant and at the forefront.”

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.