jesus fuego origen cigar tobacco field

Boutique Cigars: Jesus Fuego Between Land and Sea

Growing up on the El Corojo farm in Cuba, Jesus Fuego learned about farming and growing tobacco from his father and grandfather. The Fuego family had been growing tobacco in Pinar del Rio since the late 1800s. But when the chores were done on the farm, however, Jesus, like others his age, headed to the beach, where he fell in love with the ocean for its fishing, swimming and diving.


After high school, Fuego went to the big city of Havanna for university, with plans to become a marine biologist. Two years of biology later, the call of the family’s land took him back to Pinar del Rio and the university there. He graduated from the University of Pinar del Rio with a graduate degree in Agricultural Engineering.

jesus fuego fishing the gulf stream big fish

Photo: J. Fuego Cigar Co.

Right after graduation Fuego got an offer from a family friend who had lived next door to his family in Cuba but was now making a home in Honduras. The family friend was Julio Eiroa, who, with his son Christian, built Camacho cigars into a powerhouse brand.

It took Fuego two years to get the necessary visa to work in Honduras, but he finally made the move. After another two years, he moved to Nicaragua, where he worked on growing a Connecticut leaf wrapper. By 2004, Fuego was working for Rocky Patel.

Fuego had been at United States Tobacco International Inc. (UST) when Rocky began making the Vintage cigars in that factory and, when UST closed, the transition to Patel was natural.

It was also during this time that Fuego began working with Nestor Andres Plasencia. The two were passionate about soils and new seeds that were to be grown in both Honduras and Nicaragua.

Jesus liked one particular crop of Honduran Corojo and asked Plasencia to put it aside for something special. Jesus continued working for Rocky in both the old UST, now General Cigar, factory and in the Plasencia factory. But Jesus saw how passionate Rocky was and it lit a fire in him to come up with his own brands. In late 2006, Fuego went out on his own. His first two cigars, the J. Fuego Natural and Gran Reserva, used the Honduran Corojo wrapper Nestor Plasencia had grown when Jesus was working with him.

Today, all that aged tobacco is gone, and Fuego is discontinuing both cigars rather than changing the blend. Fuego still makes his 777 line in Corojo and Connecticut (as the 777 Zero), the Origen, the J. Fuego Delerium and the Sangre De Toro. And while Fuego is working hard on new products and selling his existing lines, he always makes time for his first love, the sea.


J. Fuego Cigar Co.

A 2-time Emmy award winner, Frank Seltzer is a former Correspondent for CNN, Voice of America and a producer for ABC News. He has been regularly covering the cigar industry for over 15 years.


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