There is no bigger name in the cigar industry then the name Torano. The history behind the name and its roots in the cigar industry is second-to-none. Carlos Torano Sr. was born to Santiago Torano, who was a Spaniard. The story of Carlos Torano Jr. starts like many of those, who at a early age, learned the value of hard work and standing for your values and for what is right. Carlos Torano Jr.'s story, you could say, started in 1916 when his grandfather moved to Cuba to seek a better life for his family. While Carlos Jr. was not even born yet, this move would impact Carlos Jr. and future generations of Torano's in a huge way.
Arriving in Cuba, Santiago Torano began buying tobacco and reselling the tobacco to cigar factories. By the 1930's, Santiago along with his brothers, began to buy farms growing the tobacco themselves. The personal family farm of Santiago was a one-thousand acre farm called, La Esperanza, which means “hope”. It's during this time period that Carlos Torano Sr. entered the picture and became involved with the growing process and the managing of the farm. In 1952, Santiago died and Carlos Sr. took over the operations of the family business. At this time, the Torano name was deeply embedded in the tobacco industry of Cuba. They were growing and selling tobacco to all of the major players, including Partigas, who was their number one client.
Carlos Sr. saw the value of opening markets in the U.S and began selling tobacco to the factories in Tampa. This proved to be a valuable move and was very profitable. Realizing the importance of being able to proficiently communicate in English, Carlos Sr. sent his thirteen-year-old son, Carlos Jr. to boarding school in Florida.
For the next seven years, Carlos Jr. would only return home for holidays and vacations. In 1959, Carlos returned home for summer to find that his father had been in jail, along with other Torano family members. The brutal dictatorship of Fidel Castro had begun. Within a year, the Castro regime took over the Torano family farms at gunpoint, confiscating everything Carlos Torano Sr. owned. With $100 in his pocket and a sack of special tobacco seeds, Carlos and his family fled Cuba to the Dominican Republic, where he began from scratch building a tobacco farm.
Carlos Jr., however, went back to the U.S where he took a job unrelated to tobacco. He started a family and was quite content with the life he was leading. Although, Carlos Jr.'s life would change in 1970 after his father, Carlos Sr. died of a massive heart attack in the Dominican. His family in the Dominican looked for leadership with the passing of Sr. and Called Carlos Jr. asking him to move to the Dominican to run the family business.
Carlos moved to the Dominican and took over the operation. The business quickly expanded under his leadership and began growing operations in Nicaragua, Mexico, and Ecuador. This time period had its trials. The 1970's and 80's was a rough time in the industry. Cigar smokers were in decline, and it was mainly something your grandfather did. Carlos Jr. sought a new direction for the business and began acting as a broker for the factories that he supplied tobacco to. It's during this time that he formed Central American Tobacco Company based in the U.S.
The timing for this decision was perfect. Carlos Jr. sold the agricultural side of his fathers business and focused on his new company, brokering and selling cigars to other companies. The cigar boom of the mid 1990's hit and Carlos Jr. was one of thee biggest, if not biggest, supplier of cigars for huge companies like JC Newman, Swisher, Lane Limited, and the list goes on. In 1994, Carlos Jr. decided it was time for him to produce his own brand; He launched the Torano Cigar Company. The rest you could say is history.
Today, they are one of the most well known cigars in the industry, selling millions of cigars a year. They also continue to provide private label cigars to other cigar brands, and remain a dominate player in the cigar industry.
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