Date: January 2019
Author: Inspector Z

The Oliva family has been in tobacco for several generations, it all started in Cuba as tobacco growers. After the revolution, Gilberto Senior became a tobacco broker before leaving Cuba and move to Spain, and later Nicaragua where he started to grow tobacco again. The revolution of the Sandinista regime forced him to leave Nicaragua and seek other countries for his tobacco growing business, he tried Mexico, Honduras, Panama, and even The Philippines.

In 1995 the situation in Nicaragua changed and Oliva returned, not only as a grower but also as a producer of cigars. First made at the Plasencia factory in Honduras, later Oliva opened their own facilities in Esteli, Nicaragua. And recently they opened another factory plus a box factory in the same town. Gilberto’s offspring, Gilberto Junior, Carlos, Jeannie and José also got involved in the business.

After the sale of Oliva to Belgian tobacco giant J. Cortes, mid-July 2016, the complete family stayed on as part of the deal. José Oliva took the position of CEO, despite his political ambition and career. But recently Oliva was elected speaker of the house in Florida, a position that takes so much of his time that he had to resign as CEO of Oliva Cigars and proceed in a role as advisor to the team he had created over the years. Longtime Oliva Employee Cory Bappert took over as CEO.

We wish both Corey Bappert and José Oliva good luck in their new roles. It’s good to have a cigar smoker claiming an important position in American politics, maybe it helps against the ever-growing legislation that is endangering our passion.

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