Joya de Nicaragua cigars are a fairly recent addition to the long, rich history of tobacco and stogies. The first factory did not open in the country until the 1960s. The Antano, which is the very first among the country’s lines is preferred by smokers who like to choose their sticks from that region. A decade after the Antano line was initially released the Dark Corojo line was released. Compared to other countries involved in tobacco production, that is a fairly late entry into the competitive stogie market.
The company, which is located in Esteli, was first opened in the 1960s. These handcrafted sticks are sold in over 30 countries throughout the world. The translation of Joya de Nicaragua cigars is ”jewel of Nicaragua,” in tribute to the culture of the bold, rich, and vibrant country. Of course they have experienced the rises and falls in the country’s past 40 years in history, with the country being relieved of dictatorship, suffering from both a trade embargo from America as well as the consequences of war consequences. Now, however, this Latin American country is finally becoming a triumphant state once more.
Some of those businesses who were also around during the 1970’s speak of the line in nearly hushed tones of awe. Consider that these stogies were officially the U.S. White House stogie at that point. For nearly a decade, they were presented State dinner guests. In 1978, sales of these sticks in the U.S. reached up to 9.5 million, which made it a best-seller among the premium cigars of that time.
The dictator, President Anastasio Somoza Debayle visited the American White House in 1971. He brought along some Joya de Nicaragua cigars for Nixon and was astonished to see that the stogies already had a strong White House presence. When he returned home, he purchased the company; the company’s owners Bermejo and Camacho did not have much true choice in the matter. They sold the business and emigrated from the country soon after.
After control of the government was taken over by the Sandinistas, commercial organizations were then nationalized. Dr. Martinez-Cuenca was the business representative in the 80’s. His job as Minister of Trade included opening access for domestic products to foreign markets. He focused on Europe, which was soon the best market because there was then an American trade embargo at that time.
In the election of 1990, the Sandinistas lost control of the State, and privatization soon followed. The brand ownership of the Joya de Nicaragua cigars, as well as that of the factory now belonged to the company’s employees, but with the large number of voices clamoring regarding any decision, the company was doing poorly. This paved the way for Dr. Martinez-Cuenca to purchase it in 1994. He wanted to bring back the mystique that was lost when the company was nationalized. He is quite proud of the company, and its place in tobacco history, as many people have learned the fundamentals of the field there before moving on to other companies.
Even with such a late entry into the world of stogie making, the country’s first company has already had a long, rich history, albeit an abridged one, and cigar smoking enthusiasts around the world can look forward to a long life for the Joya de Nicaragua cigars.