​Oliva Cigars – Since 1886 – History of a Great Company

Oliva Cigar Company produces and manufactures multiple brands of premium cigars both grown and produced in Nicaragua and sold worldwide. The company began growing its premium tobacco in Pinar del Rio, Cuba in 1886 under the leadership of patriarch Melanio Oliva.

In 1964 after the 1959 Cuban Revolution, Melanilo’s grandson Gilbert Oliva migrated to Spain with his family and later ended up in Nicaragua where they started up their tobacco business again.

In 1995 Gilberto and his son, Gilberto Jr., started the “Gilberto Oliva” cigar brand, which has morphed into what is today’s Oliva Cigars. The company is located today in Miami Lakes, Florida.

At first the Oliva cigars did not see any form of rapid successes, where they managed to hang on due to the shakedown of several startup companies that emerged in the 1990’s. In 1995 and 1996 the cigar market grew quickly, but in 1997 the cigar giants took action forcing many of the smaller companies to fold and go under.

Gilberto Senior made a very strategic move at this time by stockpiling his tobacco that he produced himself and stored in Nicaragua. This allowed them to keep up their brand production going and their Nicaraguan-grown “puro cigars” which were made spicy for financial reasons ended up having a positive side effect and improved the brand anchoring them in the marketplace.

As one writer noted…

“It pushed the family closer to self-sufficiency and gave it a product that was embraced by the cigar cognoscenti in the United States. The world was falling in love with Nicaraguan tobacco, and Oliva had it to spare”.

Greg Elam –
Content Writer – Windy City Cigars