When we talk about legendary cigar companies, we almost always begin with the story of a courageous man who escaped Cuba to start an enterprise in Florida, or a family business that began in South America and has been lovingly passed down through the generations. Rarely do we hear about a highly successful company that was only launched in recent decades and managed to climb its way to the top during a uniquely competitive era in tobacco-making. Yet, that’s exactly how Ted’s Cigars became what it is today.
How It All Started
It all started with Ted Jackson, a Louisville native with a big dream. Jackson started out as a cigar enthusiast, who eventually decided that he wanted to bring back old manufacturing techniques – primarily, the small-batch cigar. Before long, he was regularly visiting South America, and taking a lot of trips to the Dominican Republic. So much time spent there allowed him to study everything there is to know about cigar-making. But, what struck him the most was the attention to detail and meticulous craftsmanship of old-world facilities. Jackson knew that he wanted his cigar business to operate in a similar manner.
When Ted opened Ted’s Cigars in Louisville, Kentucky, his goal was pretty straightforward. He wanted to offer a stunning cigar that was made in small batches using the more labor-intensive manufacturing techniques of the old days. He knew that this would distinguish his product from the rest. Remember that he launched his business in 1996, at a time when mass production was sweeping across the cigar industry with varying results. While many brands began outsourcing their manufacturing, creating larger-than-life batches at a time and watching quality become less and less consistent, Ted decided to produce small-batch masterpieces that were only available in a fairly small number of cigar outlets.
But his efforts paid off. Ted’s Cigars achieved cult status quickly, as more and more connoisseurs became intrigued by this concept of cigar-making. After all, Ted never wanted to be the biggest manufacturer in the world. He only cared about one thing, and that was creating a cigar that was consistently perfect. Never drawn to big publicity, he remains a mysterious figure who prefers that his cigars speak for themselves.
Ted's Cigar can still be purchased in his Louisville shop, although hundreds of outlets around the country offer it today. It’s a perfect blend of Brazilian, Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. What makes his cigar highly unique is that it takes a no-frills approach, as does his business. Ted’s down-to-earth business practices allow the cigar industry to finally cater to the average joe, which is a refreshing change, to say the least.
Some Things in the Cigar Business Never Change, Thanks to Ted Jackson
Cigars are big business nowadays, with many business owners taking a hands-off approach in favor of large profits. But, thanks to Ted’s Cigars, we can always reunite with the origins of the industry by enjoying small-batch, no-fuss masterpieces like his.