When we trace a cigar company back to its origin, we almost always end up in Cuba or a South American country. This isn’t surprising considering the rich history of the tobacco trade in these areas of the world. That’s why we will be taking a look at a brand that originated in Switzerland, a place where few would expect a tobacco company to thrive.
Then again, Villiger Cigars isn’t your ordinary cigar company. Most of us are awfully familiar with their uniquely delicious and complex offerings, but don’t know the background of the brand. As you’ll see, their story is extremely unique, and worth learning about if you’re a cigar enthusiast with an appreciation for history.
Where It All Began
It all started in Switzerland in 1888, at a time when the tobacco industry was picking up in an entirely different part of the world. It was Jean Villiger who turned into a reality his dream of crafting fine cigars in his home in Pfeffikon, operating as a small business while his wife, Louise, helped out. They managed a modest operation through 1902, when Jean tragically died.
While most businesses would have simply ceased to operate, Louise had the determination to continue the legacy and build the company into a more successful model. She successfully maintained the business up until 1918, when her two sons, Max and Hans were able to take over for the next 30 years. During this time, the company expanded as more and more people discovered the luxurious quality of the cigars that they were producing. And so gradually the company evolved from a local business in a small region of Switzerland to a recognized tobacco brand throughout Europe.
In 1951, Heinrich Villiger took control of the family business, and decided that it would be wise to convert to using Cuban tobacco. At the time, the Cuban tobacco trade was at a peak, with connoisseurs around the world deciding that no other tobacco could compete. Making this change proved to be hugely successful for Villiger Cigars, as the brand finally earned the international appeal that Jean Villiger had once only dreamed about.
In 1964, Villiger Cigars was such a recognized name that the company managed to appear at the 1964 World’s Fair, which was one of the most prestigious events that a brand could participate in at the time. A few decades later, the company would expand its operations throughout various regions in the world, in order to meet ever-growing demands.
Where They’re At Today!
Heinrich Villiger continues to run the now-legendary company, which is still based in Pfeffikon after all these years. A popular brand in Europe for over a century, Villiger cigars are now building a well-deserved reputation in North America as an even, reliable smoke with a distinctive flavor and feel. Elegant in appearance, a box of Villiger cigars lends a touch of Old World style to any humidor. They make an excellent purchase or gift for the cigar lover who is always on the lookout for new discoveries.
Continuing to produce numerous ranges and types of cigars, from high-end singles to affordable stogies, each is meant to meet your daily cigar smoking needs.