Fuentes inaugurates a Nicaraguan factory

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Four and a half years, almost to the day, after Carlos Fuente Jr. announced plans to build a large factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, his company is about to officially open the site and begin construction. Thursday, the inauguration of the factory will take place.

“Many years of hard work,” Fuente Jr. told cigar lover. “The day finally comes.”

The event will include, according to Fuente Jr., “the entire construction company, government officials and colleagues.”

Fuente Jr. stunned the cigar world on January 18, 2018, when he was a surprise guest at the Nicaraguan Cigar Festival and announced his plans to set up a factory to be called Gran Fabrica de Tabacos La Bella y La Bestia, or “beauty and the beast.”

Carlos “Carlito” Fuente Jr. (second from right), owner of Arturo Fuente Cigars, reveals plans to build a Nicaraguan cigar factory during the 2018 Puro Sabor Cigar Festival. (Photo/David Clough)

Fuente is a cigar powerhouse, one of the largest producers of handmade cigars in the world, and since the 1980s has produced all of its cigars in the Dominican Republic. But Fuente has made cigars in many countries since its inception in 1912, and Nicaragua was once the center of its production. Political upheaval eventually led to the destruction of the factory in 1978. Fuente has also grown tobacco in Nicaragua for several years.

Felix Mesa of El Galan Cigars will lead Nicaraguan operations for Fuente. Fuente Jr. did not respond to questions about how long it will take to complete the plant.

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