The first shipments of West Tampa Tobacco Co.’s new cigars are set to begin shipping on Monday, with the company’s initial 75 accounts receiving those cigars.


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The company’s first two lines are called Black and White; the White uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper with a Nicaraguan binder and filler, while the Black also uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper but from a higher priming to give it a darker color and stronger flavor. Underneath that is a Nicaraguan binder from the volcanic island of Ometepe, while the fillers come from Nicaragua’s Condega and Estelí regions.

Both cigars are made at the Garmendia Cigar Co. factory in Estelí and will be offered in three sizes:

  • West Tampa Tobacco Co. Black/White Robusto (5 x 50) — $8.99 (Box of 20, $179.80)
  • West Tampa Tobacco Co. Black/White Toro (6 x 52) — $9.99 (Box of 20, $199.80)
  • West Tampa Tobacco Co. Black/White Gigante (6 x 60) — $10.99 (Box of 20, $219.80)

West Tampa Tobacco Co. is the creation of Rick Rodriguez, who is best known for his time with General Cigar Co. during which he served as blender and ambassador for the CAO brand, along with Gus Martinez, a co-founder of the company who is serving as its president, and who previously worked for General Cigar Co. as a director of brand marketing. Martinez told halfwheel that the company is close to launching its website, which will have a store locator for consumers to use to find stores carrying the cigars.

West Tampa Tobacco Co. will be showcasing its products and opening more accounts at the 2022 PCA Convention & Trade show, which runs from July 8-12 in Las Vegas.

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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 the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.