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Newman’s Honored by City of Tampa

July 6, 2021 By Matthew Tabacco

Eric, Bobby, and Drew Newman were honored as Visit Tampa Bay’s “Ambassadors of the Year” for the restoration of J.C. Newman Cigar Co.’s historic El Reloj cigar factory in Tampa, Florida. Last year, the Newmans completed a multi-million dollar restoration of their iconic 111-year-old cigar factory and opened a new three-level cigar museum, interactive theater, private events space, and hand rolling room. The awards ceremony featured a video with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, Congresswoman Kathy Castor, and many J.C. Newman staff members

“My father, uncle, and I were surprised, humbled, and grateful for this recognition,” said Drew Newman, general counsel and fourth-generation cigar maker. “It is our sincere privilege to keep Tampa’s cigar-making tradition alive and teach future generations about how important the cigar industry has been to this history and culture of Tampa.” J.C. Newman’s El Reloj factory and cigar museum is free and open to the public on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visitors can book a 75-minute guided tour on J.C. Newman’s website. The cigar industry will be able to experience J.C. Newman’s El Reloj factory at the 2021 Premium Cigar Association Trade Show this weekend in Las Vegas. “Tampa has supported the cigar industry since before it became “Cigar City,'” said Newman. “One of the reasons that Vicente Martinez Ybor settled in Tampa in 1885 is because the local Board of Trade pooled together $4,000 to help him buy land for his factory – a staggering sum at the time for a town of just 700 people. During the past 145 years, Tampa’s support of the cigar industry has never wavered. My family and I haven’t forgotten it, and it is our privilege to give back to Tampa by restoring El Reloj and opening it to the public.”

Nicole and I visited El Reloj in May of this year and we were quite impressed but the work that was done and marveled at the amazing history on display all around us. I would highly recommend visiting if you ever have the chance.

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