October 2019

Arturo Fuente International is born. Mid-September, Arturo Fuente and the Meerapfel family finally fulfilled the dream of Richard Meerapfel and Carlito Fuente to form Arturo Fuente International. A dream that existed for forty years finally came true.

Tobacco broker Richard Meerapfel and cigar manufacturer Carlito Fuente met in the late 1970s. An instant friendship was born, as they had the same passion for tobacco, about family, about culture, about love, and about life. Two tobacco families, generations active in the business, formed a bond. A bond to grow the best tobacco in the world, and to make the best cigars in the world. Tobacco from Cameroon, cigars from the Dominican Republic. And don’t compromise on the quality, never compromise.

Ministry of Cigars - Arturo Fuente International is born
Liana, Cynthia & Carlito Fuente with Angela Yue

Everything has to be perfect, every single time. From the soil to the seed, from cultivation to fermenting. And then aging, selecting and handling the tobacco. Perfection in the rolling process, in the aging. Perfection in the packaging, not a single compromise. It’s for a reason that Arturo Fuente was the first company to ship their boxes with Boveda packs to guarantee perfect cigars every single time. Even after 40 years, Arturo Fuente and Meerapfel are true to that dedication of perfection

The early days were hard, if it wasn’t a Cuban cigar, consumers would not touch it. It was a long and hard struggle, with lots of setbacks. But the families stayed true to their vision, their craft. Even when tragedy hit and Richard Meerapfel passed away in 2003, at the young age of 52. By that time, the two families were already one big family at heart. And they are still today.

Ministry of Cigars - Arturo Fuente International is born
The Fuente – Meerapfel family

Arturo Fuente International

40 years after Carlito Fuente and Richard Meerapfel first met, their dream came true. Arturo Fuente International is born. Arturo Fuente is the fastest-growing cigar brand in the international markets, at a rate that the cigar industry has never seen.

To keep expanding, to keep growing and to keep cigar aficionados supplied with the cream of the crop of Dominican cigars, Arturo Fuente International opened a new bonded warehouse and headquarters in Belgium. And celebrated it with a party last week. A few hundred lucky people were invited to an evening with music, cigars, and friends. Distributors from all over the world, cigar media, Stefano Ricci, Hublot, friends, and family were there to celebrate this milestone. The super warehouse is located in Belgium. The sales, promotion and marketing division and offices are located at Arturo Fuente International in Basel Switzerland. Arturo Fuente International is the exclusive Eastern Hemisphere sales and logistics branch of the Arturo Fuente brands. And takes care of the worldwide distribution outside of the America’s.

Ministry of Cigars - Arturo Fuente International is born
Carlito Fuente speeching

During the party, both Carlito Fuente and Jeremiah Meerapfel made passionate, emotional speeches about the past, the future, family and love. About two families become one, about support, about distributors becoming families. And of course, about the need to stick together to fight the storm, the storm that threatens the cigar industry. The nanny state regulations that are out for the blood of the cigar industry. The new generation was introduced, the people that run the operations from the shadows were put in the spotlights and got the praise they deserve.

With the expansion of the new bonded warehouse and the new international office, the international markets will be supplied even better. The service levels for the global markets will rise and the Arturo Fuente brand will continue to grow. Even with the doom and gloom of the legislation, the future for Arturo Fuente International looks bright.

Ministry of Cigars - Arturo Fuente International is born
Jeremiah Meerapfel
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