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Ashton: a brief but successful history in the world of tobacco

Robert Levin, founder and owner of the renowned Ashton brand, was inducted into the 2020 Cigar Journal Hall of Fame and received the Cigar Trophy for his life's work.

In 1972, Levin took over his father's business, Holt's Cigar Company, a small Philadelphia cigar retailer, which his father had purchased in the mid-1950s. In 1980, he decided to purchase Harry A. Tint & Sons, a more exclusive business that imported Cuban cigars to the United States, before the embargo. Just five years later, he created Ashton Distributors Inc., a family business also located in Philadelphia, with which he began producing Ashton, the brand that would soon become a notable success in the market.

From the beginning and until 1988, they made the cigars in Tabadom (Dominican Tobacco), the factory owned by Henke Kelner, a master who knew like few others about the tobacco plant, its cultivation and its processes. Tabadom then began producing for Davidoff and was subsequently purchased by them.

From 1988 to the present day, all cigars with the Ashton logo on the ring are produced at Tabacalera A. Fuente, also in the Dominican Republic. Since then, he has created all of Ashton's blends together with Carlito Fuente, with whom he has a close lifelong friendship that has been consolidated thanks to their commitment to excellence.

Ashton cigars were the first super-premium cigars on the US market whose prices, ranging between $1.70 and $2.50 per unit, were among the highest on the market and remain so today. Even so, they rank among the best-selling brands in the United States.

In the huge US market, Ashton has been a consistent "Top 3" brand for over thirty years. Much of that success is due to the introduction of several innovative blends specially conceived to meet the changing tastes of consumers cigar lovers. Some of them are iconic, such as the Ashton Classic, which includes around 20 lines, and continues to be the best seller in the company's portfolio, several of which can be purchased in our store. Others, such as the Ashton Aged Maduro, Ashton Cabinet, Ashton VSG and Ashton ESG, are equally of excellent quality and well received as the company remains true to its principles of brand building, longevity and tradition.

Today, Ashton remains a family operation run by Robert Levin and his son, Sathya Levin. Together, they preserve the company's long-standing reputation for creating premium cigars of superior quality. Its cigars include, in addition to Ashton, the renowned brands La Aroma del Caribe, called in the USA, La Aroma de Cuba, and Paradiso, known in the US market as San Cristóbal, both produced at My Father Cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua, owned by Jose Pepin Garcia.

All together they are on the market with a total annual production of more than 12 million cigars, which are distributed and sold in more than 50 countries by renowned distributors and stores.

 

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