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Cigars: America’s Oldest Family Owned Cigar Makers – J.C. Newman Cigar Company

J.C. Newman Cigar Company’s long history dates back more than a century to 1895, when Julius Caeser Newman rolled his first cigars in the family barn in Cleveland, Ohio. From our humble beginnings as a one-man cigar factory, we have survived and prospered through the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, two world wars, the Cuban embargo, excessive taxes, smoking bans and the rapid consolidation of the cigar industry.

JC Newman Factory

The company joined the Tampa cigar manufacturing community in 1954 when our founding father, Grandpa J.C. Newman, determined that the company’s future lay in the manufacture of premium cigars. He resolved to relocate to Tampa, which enjoyed a world-class reputation for producing high-quality premium cigars. The move also brought him closer to his primary source of tobacco: Cuba. Interestingly, since the turn of the century, more hand-rolled Clear Havana cigars – cigars made entirely of Cuban tobacco – had been made in Tampa than were made in Cuba and imported in the United States.

Over the years, J.C. was married and had four children. By 1916, the company had rapidly expanded with the addition of two factories in Marion and Lorain, Ohio, and then employed a total of 700 employees. J.C.’s top-selling cigar brand was called Judge Wright, with its famous slogan, “A fair trial will give a verdict in favor of this cigar.” However, the cigar business was difficult during the Great Depression.

After World War II, J.C.’s sons, Stanford and Millard Newman, returned from military service and joined the company. Stanford was responsible for the cigar manufacturing operations and Millard oversaw the company’s sales. As America prospered, the Newmans’ company continued to flourish in Cleveland selling its famous Student Prince cigars.

JC Stanford

Back in 1961 when the enactment of the Cuban Embargo made it impossible for Tampa’s cigar manufacturers to obtain their critical tobaccos, Stanford was a visionary. As a 25-year veteran cigar manufacturer at the time, he searched the world for a high quality, flavorful wrapper leaf to replace his historic Cuban tobacco. He discovered Cameroon wrapper leaves of West Africa. In 1963 he became the first premium cigar manufacturer to introduce Cameroon tobacco to America. 

Eric and his brother Robert Newman are the third generation, and with their children already showing interest in the family business, the company is on its way to the fourth generation.

JC Brothers N 2

Personally I’ve smoked a number of J.C. Newman cigars without even knowing who produced them. So, I decided to do some research and this article was born to share and appreciate the rich history behind the oldest American Cigar manufacturing company The  J.C. Newman Company, creating some of the finest cigars in the world – knowledge is power #smokegood.


J.C. Newman Cigar Brands

Diamond Crown
diamondcrownStanford Newman dreamed of making the best cigar in the world with no regard for how long it would take or how much it would cost and this dream was realized in the Diamond Crown cigar. Handmade at Tabacalera A. Fuente by the very best Master Rollers, the Cuban-seed filler and Dominican binder contain a complex blend of six to seven individual Dominican tobacco leaves. Each Diamond Crown cigar undergoes a thorough inspection process ensuring only cigars with the perfect appearance, firmness, and wrapper texture are released to cigar lovers.

Diamond Crown Maximus
maximusThree legendary cigar families, the Newmans, Fuentes and Olivas, joined forces to create a new unparalleled cigar that would provide a hearty complement to the wildly successful Diamond Crown cigar. This cigar, Diamond Crown MAXIMUS, is made with Carlito Fuente’s secret blend of specially aged Dominican filler tobaccos, and a special Ecuadorian tobacco wrapper exclusively grown on the El Bajo region of the Oliva’s Ecuador plantation. The Diamond Crown MAXIMUS uses only the richest, hardiest and darkest tobacco from the top priming ‘corona’ of the plant creating a unique and remarkably smooth, full-flavored cigar.

Diamond Crown Julius Caeser
diamond-crown-juliusDiamond Crown JULIUS CAESER honors Julius Caeser (“J.C.”) Newman, a true cigar pioneer and founder of the J.C. Newman Cigar Company. Born in a small Hungarian village, J.C. and his family sailed across the Atlantic in 1888 in search of the American Dream.  In 2010 we created a Diamond Crown that honors J.C., whose likeness appears on the cigar label. Diamond Crown JULIUS CAESER cigars are meticulously rolled by hand in small batches by Tabacalera A. Fuente in the Dominican Republic. Flavorful Ecuadorian Havana-seed wrappers, combined with a robust blend of Central American tobaccos, are aged for five years to give JULIUS CAESER its bold, rich distinctive flavor.

Brick House
brickhouseIn 1937, J.C. Newman launched Brick House to honor his family and heritage. The vintage Brick House cigar label depicts the pastoral setting of J.C. Newman’s childhood home – the only brick house in his village. A place that was not only a home, but it was also the town’s tavern. There, locals and visitors alike gathered nightly to eat, drink, smoke, and enjoy each other’s company. The original Brick House cigars were Cuban puros, handmade with the finest Havana tobaccos. Today, Brick House cigars are premium Nicaraguan puros featuring an exclusive Nicaraguan Havana Subido™ wrapper and Nicaraguan filler for a complex, flavorful premium cigar.

Cuesta-ReyOnce the official cigar of Spanish King Alfonso XI, Cuesta-Rey has become world renowned for its rich history, exceptional quality and flawless construction. Every Cuesta-Rey cigar is 100% handmade in the Dominican Republic using the finest Dominican and Brazil aged, long filler tobaccos blended with specially selected, mellow Dominican binder tobacco. The Cuesta-Rey cigar is available through three unique collections, the Cuesta-Rey Cabinet Selection; one of the first to use a smooth African Cameroon Wrapper (AFW), the Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino; featuring a dark Ecuadorian Centro Fino Sungrown wrapper, and the Cuesta-Rey Centenario; available in a light Connecticut Shade Natural or dark Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro with a Cuban-seed filling.

La Unica
La-UnicaIn a collaboration between Stanford J. Newman and Carlos Fuente, Sr., the two friends came up with a unique idea: to develop a rich, velvety-smooth cigar and present it at an outstanding value. Carlos selected the sizes and the two men came up with a blend they both enjoyed. La Unica is handmade using Cuban-seed Dominican long-filler tobacco and a delicate Connecticut Shade or rich Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Packaged in stylish custom cedar cabinets, the cigars feature the same smooth rich flavorful blend as they did in 1986.

El Baton
El-BatonThe full bodied, Nicaraguan blend cigar is a spicy addition to the J.C. Newman Cigar Company. El Baton cigars are hand rolled in in Nicaruagua using only the best Nicaraguan grown tobacco leaves. Originally released as a nickel cigar in 1914, its return has been met with rave reviews, receiving a high score of 91 on Cigar Aficionados rating scale. El Baton cigars are grown in the most fertile areas of Nicaragua, providing for a smooth, hearty smoke with a little spice. The Nicaraguan tobaccos exude hints of oak wood and black pepper. A Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper completes the spicy mix.

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