If you have ever been to Downtown Disney in Orlando Florida you may have come across the Sosa cigar shop. This small (660 Sq ft) premium cigar shop has more than 80 brands of cigars, including Auturo Fuente, Padron, Diamond Crown, Imperio Cubano and the much sought-after Fuente Fuente Opus XE. It has been in operation for 17 years. But if you want to really experience what the Sosa family is all about you have to visit a small nondescript building just off Calle Oche in Little Havana Miami. This is where you will meet Arby Sosa, the owner of Sosa Family Cigars and the Antillian Cigar Company.
We took the time to reach out to Arby when we visited Little Havana and sat down to talk about the family and Arby himself. The Sosa family has been in the cigar business for 4 generations, more than 70 years. It all started in the turn of the 19th century with Don Juan Sosa, a small tobacco grower in the fertile Taguasco region of Cuba. By the 1920′s, that farm was one of the largest tobacco-producing haciendas in Cuba. Over the next 30 years, Don Juan’s son, Arturo, and grandson Juan (Arby’s Father), continued growing and selling their tobacco. Exiled from their homeland in Cuba in 1962, the Sosa family opened their first US store in 1964 in Miami, FL, and the rest is pure cigar history. The Sosas have 2 stores in Florida, including the shop in Downtown Disney. They have their line of cigars in 300 stores across the US.
Perhaps this all new to you, or maybe you have not heard of Sosa cigars with all the new blends and brands on the market, but back in the March/April 1998 issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine their Sosa Piramide No. 2 was rated as the top cigar. To celebrate 50 years in the US cigar market, Arby and his family created the limited edition 50th anniversary Sosa cigar. This new piramide is a special blend of Dominican Binder, Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers all wrapped in a Cameroon wrapper. Each box is signed by all the members of the Sosa family.
Arby explained that his father, Juan B. Sosa, actually has worked for the Fuente family since 1997 and is the Master Blender at the Tabacalera A. Fuente # 4 Factory in the Dominican Republic. As you can imagine, there is a deep connection between the families. Their Antillian Cigar distribution company also distributes a number of lesser known brands like Headlines, Swinger Cigars, and El Galan.
As we talked about the family and cigars Arby introduced me to something else that he has distribution rights for – The Cigar Cork. The Cigar Cork is a patent-pending device for a division of J3 USA, LLC, a registered 100% Veteran Owned Company. Arby described it as the one of the most revolutionary developments to the cigar industry in the past 100 years. You may ask what this is? Well, he showed it to me. It looked like a clear tube with a cork in it. Seeing I was a bit confused he explained that this rather simple device is a re-usable cigar humidification/flavoring system. The device is designed to store and humidify your cigars in an airtight pressurized tube. He further explained that if you want to flavor your stick, all you have to do is add a few drops of your favorite rum, whisky, coffee etc to the core of the cork top and over a short time the flavor will blend with the tobacco.
Not only does the Sosa Family manufacture and distribute cigars they also have a private label program where you can have your band applied to a special line of premium bundled cigars for a special event , a shop, or if you are really ambitious sell it as your own brand. He explained there is now minimum orders and the process is simple and explained fully on their web site.
One of their other new creations is the Sosa Underground cigar . They are made at the ElGalan factory in Nicaragua and are a unique cigar. This is new look for the Sosa family with a logo designed by a local tattoo artist from Miami. They come in three sizes:
- Delphic (perfecto) 5 ½ x 41
- Dar 5×50
- Esoteric 6×50
What is unique about this cigar is that it is double wrapped. The outer wrapper is either Connecticut or Ecuadorian Habano with the inner wrap being the opposite. The binders and fillers are Nicarguan from Jalapa and Esteli. Only one roller is used to make these medium to full-bodied cigars. You may have seen the amazing ash we carried on this unique cigar.
When asked what is next for the Sosa family, Arby said they are coming out in the next 2 weeks with a Lancero, a 7 1/2′ x 38″, in the Sosa Classic line. Also, they recently came out with the 7 x 70 Sosa Tray, which is a tray of 40 7′ x 70″ cigars that is proving to be quite popular at retail stores. The next big thing for the Sosa family is what they are calling “going back to their roots” with the 4/50/70 Project. 4/50/70 stands for the 4 generations of Sosa family members that have been involved in the cigar business, 50 years of Sosa’s making and selling cigars, and 70 years in total that the Sosa family has been immersed in the cigar industry. With this project, they will be slowly bringing out cigars that were introduced at the inception of “Sosa” which made them who they are today as one of the longest running families in the cigar business.
The first two cigars being rolled out are the Sosa Original and the Imperio Cubano. This 10-pack of cigars will be a limited
offering of only 2,000 cigars. Each pack will be numbered as only 200 packs are being sold nation-wide, and each pack will be signed by Arby Sosa. The Imperio Cubano was a Cuban brand owned by Arby Sosa’s grandfather and made in Miami, Florida in the ’90’s. The size is a 4′ x 50″ Perfecto with a Habano Oscuro wrapper and binders and fillers from Jalapa and Esteli. Imperio Cubano is a medium-bodied cigar. The Sosa Original is a 6 1/2′ x 52″ Torpedo with a dual wrapper, which is banded with the original Sosa band used from 1964-1998. The wrapper, binders and fillers are Habano and Connecticut, and it is a medium-bodied cigar.
We bid are farewells and thanked him for his hospitality. We had but a brief time together but I would call Arby a genuine cigar man and brother of the leaf. We hope to get back down to Miami soon and maybe spend some more time with Arby.