Cuban cigars … made in Tampa? In the early 1880s Vicente Martinez-Ybor, a successful Cuban cigar maker in Havana, started looking for another place to open cigar factories.
First he relocated to Key West, and started making cigars by Cuban workers from Cuban tobacco, all the while avoiding high import tariffs.
Then civil unrest and transportation difficulties led to another relocation to Tampa Bay. Ybor was attracted to the weather, cheap land and transportation lines recently added by Henry B. Plant.
From that Ybor city was born, with factories, worker housing and local businesses built for the growing immigrant community.
– Margot Calmar, The 100 Companies