Seed2Cigar: Epic year-long timelapse shows Foundation Cigars in the making

As a growing brand, Foundation Cigar Company is always exploring exciting ways to shake up the cigar world and bring a new level of culture and media to smokers and shops alike. From the unique and striking Nicaraguan-based art, to the history-rich backstories of each cigar line, to a recent music video collaboration with The Reminders, it's easy to see that owner Nicholas Melillo's interests span far and wide. But the heart of Foundation lives in the dark, dense soil of Estelí, where tobacco seeds begin their long journey to becoming award-winning cigars.

In keeping focus on what's important, Foundation has released a time-lapse video sharing the extensive process about how their cigars are made. The 11-minute time-lapse spans an entire year, though the whole process to create every part of Foundation’s cigars can actually take 2-3 years, with long fermentation periods. The video takes place in Estelí, Nicaragua and breaks down the technique into a number of steps, from seed beds, to curing, productions, molds, quality control, and more. It’s a fascinating look inside a remarkable operation and also showcases the many people involved from beginning to end. To accompany the full video, Foundation also has an abridged one-minute version that highlights the most important steps.

This latest video from Foundation was filmed and edited by Kenneth Espinoza, who is also the talent behind The Reminders' 'Foundation' music video. Kenneth studied at Virginia Tech and currently resides in Nicaragua. Four years ago, he created Foundation's first videos and now Foundation is excited to announce that Kenneth has joined its art and media marketing team. He'll be working to make video series for each Foundation cigar line and release monthly videos to bring more of Foundation's process and inspiration to the public. 

About Foundation Cigar Company
Foundation Cigar Company was formed by Nicholas Melillo in June of 2015 and debuted El Güegüense, The Wise Man - Corona, which was awarded among Cigar Aficionado’s ‘top 25 cigars’of 2016. The Company launched The Tabernacle, Charter Oak, and the infused line, The Upsetters, in 2016. In 2018, The Wise Man Maduro was named #3 Cigar of the Year by Cigar Aficionado and The Charter Oak was named Best Value Cigar.  Foundation’s home offices reside in the Connecticut River Tobacco Valley and its production in Esteli, Nicaragua. Foundation Cigar Company’s goal is to bring top quality premium cigars to connoisseurs around the world.

Important notice regarding the Padrón Box Recycling Program


Dear Customer,

We would like to thank you for your participation in our box recycling program. Our program has been in place for over 20 years and has helped us conserve valuable natural resources.

It has recently come to our attention that many of the boxes we are receiving are damaged beyond the point of repair. In order to help us recycle as many boxes as possible and to give you full credit, we ask that you please take as much care as possible in protecting the integrity of the boxes.

When opening the boxes, please do not use box cutters to slice the lids or bottoms of the boxes. These cuts are permanently etched in the box and therefore render them unrepairable. In addition, it would also be very helpful if you could provide us with following information:

  • Your best estimate of or the actual weight of the package(s).
  • The quantity of boxes that are being returned per shipping carton.
  • Call tags for multiple box shipments will each display a weight. When applying these call tags please match the weights to the corresponding shipping carton.
  • Provide us with dimensions of each shipping carton.

We are very proud that our program has proven to be a worthwhile endeavor. Please help us to maintain it by protecting the boxes as much as possible.

If you are not familiar with our recycling program and would like to participate, please call 800.453.5635 or email us at .

We thank you for your help in this important matter.

The Padrón Family


Villiger Company History

Villiger Cigars was established in 1888 by Jean Villiger in the small town of Pfeffikon, Switzerland, where Villiger remains headquartered to this day. The company manufactures and sells more than 1.5 billion cigars annually, world-wide. Today, under the leadership of Heinrich Villiger, the company prides itself in its commitment to quality in all their products made in many countries around the globe.

JMG International, Inc. is the exclusive distributor for Villiger Cigars North America for products going into California, Oregon and Washington.

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Villiger Taps JMG International For West Coast Distribution

villiger logo

September 5, 2018

By: Blake Droesch - Cigar Aficionado

The company behind handmade cigar brands such as Villiger La Flor de Ynclan and Villiger San'Doro is outsourcing its sales effort for the West Coast market. Beginning next week, all Villiger Cigars North America products going to California, Oregon and Washington will be distributed by JMG International, Inc. 

"Over the span of 22 years [JMG International] has become one of the most respected, and well-known distributors of premium cigars on the West Coast," said Rene Castaneda, president of Villiger Cigars North America, which is headquartered in Miami, Florida. "We look forward to a fruitful partership that will help spread the Villiger lifestyle to a larger audience."

Founded in 1996 as a cigar brokerage company, JMG International is based in San Jose, California, and already works with well-known companies like Padron Cigars, General Cigar Co., Davidoff of Geneva and My Father Cigars. On September 10, Villiger will join the list of clients, hoping to continue its growth in the U.S. marketplace by utilizing JMG's relationships, which boasts more than 1,000 retailers on the West Coast. 

Villiger's internal sales team will continue to manage the rest of the U.S. market.

Villiger Cigars North America is the premium cigar division of Switzerland's Villiger Sohne AG, one of the world's largest producers of machine-made cigars. Its premium cigars are manufactured at the ABAM factory in the Dominican Republic, as well as its factory in Brazil. Additional Villiger production is handled at the Joya de Nicaragua factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.