The American cigar market is a multi-billion dollar industry, the largest, and most lucrative in the world. And Miami is set to take its piece of the action with nationwide distribution of limited production runs of high-end rolls by the Wynwood Cigar Factory, manufacturing right in the heart of the city. The entire facility is full of local street art, from the walls outside, to the customized rolling tables; and the operation is backed by some of the sharpest minds in the cigar business. Here's why and how the company is going to smash the game wide open, and a look at their awesome headquarters, now open to the public at 101 NW 24th Street.
The team behind the venture includes Christian Eiroa, former president of Camacho Cigars, one of the top selling labels in the world. He used to work with his father, the company's founder, until 2008 when they sold to Davidoff Of Geneva. The co-owner is Robert Caldwell, of Miami's own Hotel Humidor, which services The Four Seasons, and 170 other hotels, restaurants, bars, and lounges with fine smokes, and ways to showcase them.
Starting December 1st, the 10 best cigar rollers in Honduras (as determined by a contest of 1,500), make their way to Miami on cultural exchange visas and hit the open showroom floor to ply their craft. The tobacco is grown on Eiroa's family farm in the Jamastran Valley of Honduras. It is the only tobacco farm in the world certified by Bayer CropScience, an agriculture branch of the major pharmaceutical firm.
Check out this video by Carlos Williams showing where the tobacco is sourced.
Here's a look at some of the factory's art details including work by Cristina Dianaya, Evoca1, Justin Vallee from 2Square, Danny Cordero, Patricia Florez, Eileen Quintana, Diana Contreras, Raul Flores, Buddha Funk, Alex Yanes, Chris Riggs For Mayor, and many more, almost all locals.
Interior design artist Patricia Florez shows off her custom shelf, the side of which is covered in buttons.
The work of Buddha Funk, surreptitiously placed golden tropical creatures, fill the streets, and here one crawls near a high ceiling.
The custom fronts of the rolling tables pay tribute the artisanal craft that is a hand rolled cigar.
Someday soon a Honduran master roller will sit in this chair and twist up blunts for a living.
There are several rows of work stations taking up about 45 by 20 feet of space.
This giant head oversees an overseer.
These buttons cascade down the side of a shelf like a waterfall in a tailor's dream.
This giant head with hearts for eyes is about 15 feet tall.
Inspirational quotes adorn many of the pieces, which range wildly in style, but almost all employ bold use of color.
This ain't a cubicle environment,. Most people don't get to sit at work on a hot chick's face while floating through a nebula.
Cigars are a recurring theme in the works exhibited; this character smokes four at a time.
Here we see references to the Spanish language, urban environment, and smoking culture.
And this guy actually exists in real life, so if he looks familiar, you've probably seen his face somewhere else.
The wall outside features this massive diamond spitting bear chilling with his spirit human.
And this killer work by Evoca1 depicts a man protecting a lamb from a pack of wolves.
There's even art on the cement floor, just because.
Smoking is encouraged here, and there's plenty of seats to sit back and chill on.
Justin Vallee from 2Square went all freestyle on these smoking eyes with fingerlegs.
The dumpster also features an international bevvy of stickers, tags, and painted work.
Back in the shop, even the table tops are pieced up.
And mini works show the dedication that Wynwwod Cigar Factory shows to letting artists run wild through their space.
Heavy street campaigner Chris Riggs still wants to be your mayor.
And these Gordi Buenas cigar boxes are ready for action.
Along the AC vents, ants with cigars march along to the call of duty.
While these hipsters sit around and eat soup all day.
Even the bathroom is muralized. Here's the shop robot.
She wears a gas mask when she guards the bathroom door.
This is a Camacho poker table. Eirao and Caldwell are gambling on Wynwood, and they're running with a full house.
This is what a
roller "leaf buncher" looks like.
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And this is a Wynwood cigar.