TAMPA BAY'S CIGAR HISTORY
HOW IT ALL STARTED
On April 13, 1886, the newly opened Sanchez y Haya cigar company on 7th Avenue became the first place in Ybor City to roll a cigar. Hand-rolled cigars quickly became the primary industry in Tampa Bay, earning the community its nickname: Cigar City.
Over the next 30 years, more than 200 hundred cigar factories rose up across the region, employing tens of thousands of people and turning what had been a tiny town in 1884 into a major metropolis by the turn of the 20th Century. At its peak, the cigar industry produce more than 500 million cigar a year and Tampa Bay cigars could be found in pool halls, board rooms and palaces around the world.