When the Regensburg cigar factory was built 109 years ago in Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood, it was hailed as one of the largest and most modern cigar factories at the time. For 43 years, factory workers made cigars inside while the factory’s handsome clock helped locals schedule their day. In 1953, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. (which was known then as M&N Cigar) bought the factory, also known as El Reloj, Spanish for “the clock.” The company has been making both handmade cigars and cigars rolled via ancient, hand-operated machines there ever since.
Recently, J.C. Newman broke ground on the factory’s most ambitious renovation project: a multi million dollar expansion that will improve the company’s shipping and receiving logistics, update the building’s aging infrastructure, create a new handmade cigar production space and, if all goes according to plan, transform the factory into a premier cigar tourist destination. The idea is to complete the renovations by January 2020, in time for the company’s 125th anniversary.
“We are hoping to create something that will be on every cigar lover’s bucket list,” – Drew Newman, general counsel for J.C. Newman Cigar Co.