September 2020

Michael Giannini and Ventura part ways. The industry veteran and the premium cigar division of Kretek International parted ways after a restructuring of Kretek International. Giannini joined Ventura three years ago as a creative director. He moved to the position of General Manager in 2018.

Ventura Cigar Company

Kretek International is the parent of Ventura Cigar Company. They also own the distribution company Phillips & King, Tobacco Business Magazine, and the Tobacco Plus Expo. Ventura Cigar Company was operating as a standalone company. It will now be a subsidiary of Phillips & King. One of the reasons for the restructuring is to cut FDA compliance costs. 

The restructuring has consequences for the portfolio of Ventura Cigar Company as well. The focus will be on the PSyKo and Archetype lines. Foundry, a brand that Ventura acquired from General Cigars in 2018, is going to be discontinued. Giannini launched the Foundry brand during his long tenure at General Cigars and was reunited with the brand at Ventura. What will happen with the Manolo Quesada and Benji Menendez cigars from Ventura’s Cuban Cigar Factory is unclear at the moment.

Ministry of Cigars - Michael Giannini and Ventura part ways


The restructuring started last year and is now in the final stages. Ventura is fully under the Phillips & King umbrella. The final decisions on the portfolio still have to be made. One thing is for sure, PSyKo and Archetype will be the main focus. Other cigars in the Ventura portfolio are Case Study, Cuban Rejects, Cuban Rounds, Cuban Cigar Factory, Foundry, Hugo Cassar, Pacific Twyst, and Slaughterhouse. We reviewed the PSyKo Seven Nicaragua.

Giannini started his career as a retail clerk before moving to Ashton. He then joined Ernesto Perez-Carrillo at La Gloria Cubana. When La Gloria Cubana was acquired by General Cigars, Giannini worked in a senior marketing role for them. Now that Michael Giannini and Ventura part ways, it will be interesting to see his new adventure. And to see if the Foundry brand will follow him.

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