The Swisher Sweets Cigarillos Story – the Birth of a Modern Cigar Company

Some cigar aficionados look down their noses at the ever-popular Swisher Sweets cigarillos! We do not, in fact it’s a popular brand (seller) and with our staff.

Its origins go back to the mid 1800’s when David Swisher won the cigar business as settlement of a gambling debt – a modern cigar manufacturer was born. Late in the 1800’s Davis Swisher and his four sons pioneered the first “modern tobacco shop” selling and hawking products across the Midwest U.S. via wagons; or, “rolling stores” as they were called back in the day.

In the late 1800’s Swishers two sons Harry and John H. Swisher purchased the company from their bather and renamed it Swisher Brothers and opted to emphasize sales of cigars – expanding their operations aggressively, with three factories in place by 1895, with over 3K employees producing over 350K hand rolled cigars each day.

This would change in 1888 when Swisher’s sons John H. Swisher and Harry purchased the company from their father. The company was re-branded Swisher Brothers.

The two brothers decided to focus more on cigar making. They expanded the operation and by 1895, they had expanded to three factories – employing 1,000 workers and producing 300,000 hand rolled cigars per day.

Shift to More Modern Automated Cigar Manufacturing & Aggressive Growth

In 1913 decided it was time to buy out his brother Harry and also brought his son Carl into the family business and rebranded the company again as Jno. H. Swisher and Sons and in 1918 the King Edward cigar was introduced, becoming one of the most successful selling cigars of all time.

In 1923 the company moved its corporate headquarters from Ohio and started manufacturing all products in Jacksonville FL and introduced the first cigar rolling machines (selling for five cents), introduced the usage of cellophane to ensure freshness and a better product and was selling over 100 million cigars per annum.

Swisher has always prided itself of making a great product with aggressive pricing – in the early 1930’s two cigars were sold for an unheard of price of five cents, ensuring the company was hugely successful driven by the wide popularity of the King Edward cigar, selling in the hundreds of millions per year.

In 1958 the company introduced one of the most successful cigar products of all time, the Swisher Sweet, combining quality tobacco, natural and artificial flavors, producing a sweet tasting mild smoke. By the early 2000’s the Swisher Sweet was responsible for 85% of all unit sales and flavored cigars accounted for over 25% of total sales.

In the early 1990’s as cigar sales boomed Swisher rebranded itself as Swisher International and American Maize (corp parent) was acquired by William Ziegler and would take the company public to infuse capital into the company. Manufacturing was consolidated moving some operations from Georgia into Jacksonville FL and smokeless production was shifted to the Wheeling manufacturing facility.

Swisher Embraces a Luxury Brand While Maintaining its Roots as a Cigarillo Manufacturer

Later in the1990’s as the cigar boom years faded the company shifted focus to machine made products. But, after the go go years and recognizing a need to drive brand and ensure greater profitability the company shifted its focus to developing partnerships with other leading factories and growers.

Swisher announced co-branded products in early 2013 under the Royal Gold Cigars branded line, comprising the Royal Gold Kismet (manufactured by Augusto Reyes in the Dominican Republic), the mixed filler Gold Strike and the Royal Gold Casino Gold HRS (manufactured in Honduras) and the Nirvana Cameroon Selection (made in Nicaragua by Drew Estates).

What Makes Swisher Sweets Cigarillos So Popular?

Today there is a Swisher Sweet style of cigar or cigarillo for just about every cigar aficionado, from premium hand rolled cigars to flavored cigars in a wide assortment of flavors: cherry, peach, grape or vanilla.

The brand is ubiquitous, popping up in music, songs, TV shows and even mainstream movies – for good reason, millions of Swisher Sweets Cigarillos are consumed daily – it’s a mild smoke and very affordable, with a lot of proverbial bang for the buck.

Swisher Sweet cigarillos are one of the top selling machine made cigars for good reason and we recommend them for any cigar smoker that wants great taste at an affordable price.