Swisher Sweets has a long history in the cigar business. Known for their pleasant aroma and mild, sweet taste, these mass-market cigars have been
around for nearly 160 years. Swisher’s high demand throughout the decades has kept them at the top of sales worldwide. Renowned for quality products and excellence, their legendary ambiance and pedigree make for a knockout brand.
The Swisher Sweet Cigar Company has its humble origins in Newark, Ohio. In 1861 a businessman named David Swisher received a small cigar business as payment for a debt.
This transaction was the beginning of a grand future for the Swisher Sweets
Cigar Company. Using horse and buggy to carry their cigar products, David and his four sons made sales throughout the Midwest. In 1888, two of the brothers – John and Harry – bought the business from their father. They decided to rename the company “Swisher Brothers.” Swisher saw a lot of growth in this time.
Swisher Sweets has always been ahead of its time. By 1895, the brothers’ three
factories employed over 1000 people. As many as 300,000 cigars were hand-rolled EVERY DAY. In 1913, John bought out his brother Harry and partnered with his son Car. The company was renamed again. This time “Jno H. Swisher and Son.”
After about 10 years, Carl picked up and moved the operation to sunny Jacksonville, Florida – the perfect new headquarters for his ever-expanding business. Jacksonville’s climate, access to shipping, raw materials, and markets provided the perfect location. In fact, Swisher Sweets headquarters remains in Jacksonville today.
In 1923, Swisher was the first company to purchase cigar rolling machines. This
was a game-changer. By implementing this new technology, they could mass-produce the same great quality cigars on a huge scale. Operations in Jacksonville began in 1924 and by the end of the decade, a hundred million cigars a year were manufactured. You gotta admit that figure is even impressive nowadays, let alone 100 years ago.
Continuing on their innovation streak, Swisher was the first to wrap individual cigars in cellophane for longer-lasting flavor, and they also developed a quick way to remove the cellophane by pulling on the cigar band. During this period,
the company made investments into cost-saving machinery. This enabled them to reduce the price of its King Edward cigar from 5 cents each to 2 for 5 cents. As a result, sales propelled the King Edward cigar to the world's top-selling cigar by the 1940s. By 1941, the Jacksonville factory was the largest cigar manufacturing plant in the world. At this time Swisher had the foresight to open a childcare nursery for employees in 1939.
As sales and demand grew, Swisher expanded operations in the Jacksonville area. Handling, processing, storing, and shipping huge amounts of tobacco necessitated additional facilities.
In 1958, the Swisher Sweets brand was introduced - and by1964, skyrocketing sales demanded the DAILY PRODUCTION of 4 MILLION CIGARS. Development continued over the next 20 years as new King Edward and Swisher Sweet products were added to the brand’s assortment.
In 2014, Swisher bought Drew Estates Tobacco Company, which was based in Miami. Drew Estates produced a variety of brands which helped the company’s growth and expansion.
In the early 90s, the Swisher Sweets brand took the hip hop scene by storm. Musical groups quickly realized they could very easily roll their marijuana into blunts with Swisher Sweets wraps. This particular gas station cigar was so prominent in the rap culture, it seemed like everywhere you looked, rappers were including its name ‘Swisher Sweets’ in their lyrics and promoting the brand. Swisher Sweets became a household name. Thanks to the pop culture boost from rappers, Swisher has become such a household name that its logo has appeared on clothing, hats, backpacks, and even bumper stickers.
Throughout the years, new rap artists and legends such as Three 6 Mafia, Cardi B, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, The Game, Machine Gun Kelly, and many more have continued to be strong supporters of Swisher Sweets. This c-store cigar is by far one of the most desired in the hip hop industry.
Swisher Sweets knows what’s up. They understand the impact rappers have had on their brand and make it a point to give back to the community. Well-
known for its generous outreach, the brand hosts a variety of large, A-List parties & events, and offers several contests to artists to encourage creative expression. One of these contests is The Swisher Sweets Artist Project. The project is an ongoing opportunity developed around six years ago that allows up-and-coming artists a unique chance to attain exposure and emerge into the spotlight. The project travels to different cities in search of ambitious lyrical artists to showcase their talents. The Swisher Sweets Artist Project offers recognition and connections to help advance creative careers- specifically in the hip hop genre. It also issues monetary grants to the winners to help them launch their musical calling. This initiative has become widely recognized, and it receives talented applicants from all over the world. The Artist Project is a brilliant way for Swisher Sweets to help others as well as promote its own brand.
Currently, Swisher has continued its expansion to include premium cigars,
smokeless tobacco, and non-tobacco varieties.
Changing preferences and consumer demand have helped implement the sale of Hempire, pure hemp rolling papers, and Rogue, "Nicotine On Demand” products.
In 2021, Swisher was among the winners recognized by Convenience Store News in their Category Captains awards program. The award highlights leading suppliers who have assisted in enhancing category sales and profits for their retailers. It is based on creativity in marketing, innovation in management tools, and meeting retailers' needs. The company is supportive of its trade partners in both buying and selling. The award is another example of Swishers commitment to achievement.
Swisher cares about its people. The company focuses on employee development and community engagement. Employees are considered the backbone of the company and are encouraged to grow with the company. Swisher has developed and implemented Swisher U, an on-demand and virtual professional development program. Inspirational speakers from TED Talks also bring fresh ideas to the table. From sales and production to design and flavoring, there is a wide variety of departments for individual talents. By employing individuals from diverse backgrounds, team members can build successful careers.
In addition, Swisher Sweets also supports farmers by sponsoring the South Eastern Farmer of the Year Award. The winner receives a cash award from
Swisher Sweets as well as an expense paid trip to the annual Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo. Community involvement is an important factor in company values.
Furthermore, last year Swisher received the JEA Pretreatment Award for its achievement of 100% environmental compliance. Their commitment to a sustainable business is exemplified in preventing untreated pollutants from entering waterways. Just as exciting, the company recently announced a partnership with A1A Solar to commission a 6,000 square foot photovoltaic system. An emphasis on environmental impacts features strongly in company policy.
Primarily manufactured in the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua, Swisher Sweets are composed of tobacco, additives, and fillers. Some of their Premium varieties are hand-rolled in Honduras. The company offers a variety of shapes and sizes from which to choose. Wrapped in flavored whole leaf tobacco, they impart a sweet and mellow taste, making that factor an appealing part of the smoking experience.
Swisher Sweets unique process of tobacco blending and crafty flavor infusions results in a Swisher signature product. Available in Original, Sweet Cherry, Diamonds, Strawberry, Peach, Mango, Tropical Fusion, White Grape, Mellow Berry, and many others. No matter what you like, Swisher has something for everyone. Even the most judge-y cigar afficianado can find something in Swisher's multitude of choices on the shelves.
Often times during the year, Swisher offers a Limited Edition of interesting blends including Swerve, Cherry Dynamite, Purple Swish, Coastal Cocktail, and Coco Blue among many other combinations.
Types include Swisher Classic, Swisher Sweets, Encore Edition, Swisher Sweets Limited Edition, Swisher Sweets Minis, Swisher Sweets BLK, and Swisher Sweets also come in a array of sizes and tips. With an art for mixing in just the right proportions, and attractive packaging, Swisher demands shelf space on every convenience store that sells tobacco. Quality, affordability, choice, and availability all contribute to the continued worldwide success of the brand. While always looking ahead to the future, they nevertheless embrace their heritage. By keeping up with the times and changing tastes, they've been able to continually add to their lineup of great smokes. With their commitment to innovation for the future and set new standards for today's evolving consumer tastes there's no question that Swisher Sweets will always remain a trusted and timeless brand.
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