|J.C. Newman Cigar Company’s long history dates back more than a century to 1895, when Julius Caeser Newman rolled his first cigars in the family barn in Cleveland, Ohio. From our humble beginnings as a one-man cigar factory, we have survived and prospered through the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, two world wars, the Cuban embargo, excessive taxes, smoking bans and the rapid consolidation of the cigar industry.
The company joined the Tampa cigar manufacturing community in 1954 when our founding father, Grandpa J.C. Newman, determined that the company’s future lay in the manufacture of premium cigars. He resolved to relocate to Tampa, which enjoyed a world-class reputation for producing high-quality premium cigars. The move also brought him closer to his primary source of tobacco: Cuba. Interestingly, since the turn of the century, more hand-rolled Clear Havana cigars – cigars made entirely of Cuban tobacco – had been made in Tampa than were made in Cuba and imported in the United States.
J.C. Newman found his ideal manufacturing location at a landmark cigar factory in Ybor City, Tampa’s central cigar-making district founded in 1886 by legendary Cuban revolutionary Vincent Ybor. Built in 1910, the Regensburg factory was one of the last and largest cigar factories ever built in Tampa. Like every cigar factory in town, the Regensburg had a nickname: El Reloj, Spanish for “The Clock.” For generations, residents had risen and retired to the hourly chimes ringing from its tall brick clock tower. After decades of silence, the landmark El Reloj now rings again thanks to a loving restoration by the Newman family in 2002.