Söhne AG, is a Swiss origin tobacco company that can be described as one of the
oldest, largest and most respected tobacco factories in the world. Although its
global recognition comes essentially from the production of machine-made
cigars, it entered the world of premium cigars just over a decade ago.
journey through its history will allow us to know how the perseverance and
dedication of this family, added to their ability to innovate and open up to
new challenges, have allowed it to successfully maintain itself during its 133
years of existence.
the marriage of Jean and Louise Villiger opened a small cigar-making plant in
their home in Pfeffikon, Switzerland, city where their main headquarters still
operate today. Barely 14 years had passed when 42-year-old Jean passed away and
Louise was left alone with the business, leading it successfully for 16 years
until, in 1918, her sons Max and Hans took over, starting the second generation
of the family in the company.
following years they expanded to other European countries, but between 1939 and
1945, the Second World War took its toll on them and development came to a halt
until, in 1950, they reassumed work and Heinrich Villiger, the eldest son of Max
Villiger, joined the company.
long period of more than 70 years, Heinrich, the sole owner of the company -in
2020, at 90 years old he won the Hugo Chairman Award, granted by the
prestigious U.S. Tobacco Business Magazine-, had the ability to expand its
operations to numerous countries by setting up companies to grow tobacco and to
produce and distribute cigars, to the point that today they produce
approximately 1.5 billion cigars a year.
being the largest distributor of Cuban cigars in the world, and probably with
an eye on the attractive US market, in 1997 they decided to open a company to
import non-Cuban cigars that are made in the Caribbean and a few years later,
established Villiger North America Corp., a distributor for the United States.
they took the momentous step of venturing into the production of premium cigars
and, since then, their entry into that market has been broad and accelerated.
This data speaks for itself: when they moved, in 2016, their US headquarters
from North Carolina to Miami, Florida, machine-made cigars accounted for 99% of
the business. At the end of 2018, that proportion, in value, was reduced to
85%, which means that just two years later the income from the sales of
artisanal cigars increased from 1 to 15%. During the first six months of that
year alone, they sold approximately 1.2 million premium cigars in the U.S.
market, a figure most likely driven by the No. 10 spot for Villiger Flor de
Ynclan cigar in its Robusto format, reached in the 2017 annual ranking of Cigar
months ago they inaugurated a plant in Estelí, Nicaragua, called Villiger de
Nicaragua, where they plan to consolidate the production of their new but
recognized brands of hand-rolled cigars.
the business strategy is to strengthen and expand its position in all markets,
there is no doubt that a key element is the proximity to the attractive US
market, the world's largest sales market for premium cigars. So far it seems
that it has managed to conquer a significant part of its smokers.
In our store you can buy some of the collections of this renowned brand. We invite you to try any of the many Villiger cigars that we have available for you.