December 21, 2017
Veritas Cigars announced today they have parted ways with Black Works Studio, the boutique cigar factory owned by James Brown from Black Label Trading Co. Veritas has been using the services of Black Works Studios since early 2017. Veritas Cigars is in the process of opening their own factory – Tabaclera Neuvo Nica – in Esteli, Nicaragua.
Chris noted in our discussion:
“I thank James for everything he has done and am eternally grateful for the guidance and knowledge. Truly an amazing man and I still say one of the Underrated men in this industry.”
I spoke to Chris in an exclusive interview and he informed Stogie Press that the departure from Black Works Studio was a mutual understanding between the two companies. Chris was happy with the experience but wanted to have more control over the process of his craft, and in respecting the factory’s process in place at Fabrica Oveja Negra, he decided to start anew and create Veritas’s own. As part of his departure, Chris has acquired the building that used to house Black Label Trading Company’s original factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
Tabaclera Neuvo Nica
The factory is a 2 story building that includes a courtyard. Chris is renovating the building to include both storage and production facilities and is adding a bar and sitting area in the courtyard.
As far as production capability, Chris noted that his new factory will provide him complete control of the process including the ordering, processing, production, and shipping. He will be hiring 4 rolling pairs to start and eventually expand to 12 pairs, he is also hiring 2 packers, a factory manager, and a quality manager to ensure all Veritas Cigars are made to his standard of quality and artesian craft he demands.
Chris also noted:
“Having complete control allows me to put the money in the right place and be able to order what I want and when I want it. As always our focus is quality over quantity and this best positions us to grow in scale without cutting corners.”
The company has spent the past two weeks cleaning up the building and doing renovations.
I asked Chris about the sourcing of tobacco and he noted that nothing changes as he has access to the same tobaccos, but he will be looking for more artesian tobacco for future projects and blends.
As he has severed ties with James Brown and his Black Label Trading Company, the company will be using the services of Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory in the interim until the new Veritas factory – Tabaclera Neuvo Nica – is up and running, thus allowing to learn from another industry leader and legend.
Chris further stated:
“I’ve never hidden the fact that our plan has always been to eventually open our own factory. I’ve been blessed to work with some amazing people along the way that have helped mold and cultivate our progression in the industry. From being taken under the wing by Carlos and everyone I’ve met along the way since we are best positioned for the future now more than ever.”
We reached out to Black Works Studio for comment and the company spokesperson commented:
“We worked with Chris on one production at the beginning of the year. We wish him all the best in his endeavors, starting a factory is a huge undertaking.”
Smoke House Distribution
When it comes to distribution, Chris has formed a distribution company known as Smoke House, that will handle the distribution of not only Veritas but also Rock-A-Feller and Rolling Thunder cigars. They plan on adding more brands to the distribution group and currently have Michael King as the North East Representative and Scott Thompson as the Texas Representative. They are in-house sales representatives exclusive to the distribution of Smoke House cigar brands. Smoke House is actively seeking representatives for the Southeast and Midwest.
If all things go according to schedule, Veritas expects factory operations to be up and running by spring of 2018 and first shipments out of the factory are planned for the end of 2018 or early 2019. With a focus on experimental and artisan cigar blends, Tobaclera Neuvo Nica may be one to watch in the coming years.