VICARIAS CIGARS is uniquely based in Southwest Ohio. The company was started by Jay Clark, John Johnson and Jerry Garrett, who were friends that regularly attended cigar tastings in the local area. They shared a deep fascination for the cigar industry that went beyond wanting to be mere hobbyists. But just getting going was a challenge. Having no background in the cigar business meant starting from scratch. Since their names all happened to start with the letter J, they decided to name their new company TRE J CIGARS.
The first year was spent learning and networking. Jay, John and Jerry worked to learn the business from farm to factory to store. Jay set up the corporate and financial structure. Jerry immersed himself in learning about tobacco and blending. John attended every available event and trade show, as well as working in retail to learn that side of the business.
John's networking introduced the fledgling company to many industry people who would become their friends and mentors. In a business as competitive as cigars,
it was a pleasant surprise to find people who were so open and helpful. The encouragement of people such as Matt Booth, Tom Lazuka, Sam Leccia, Miguel Schoedel and Chris Carver was invaluable, especially in our first year. We take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank them.
In the next couple of years they started to learn the art of the leaf. They developed a concept for their first brand, to be called VICARIAS. Blends, band and box design had to be done. To manufacture our first cigar, we were extremely fortunate to partner with Tabacaleras Las Lavas in the Dominican Republic, owned by the wonderful Cuevas family.
Almost three years later, on March 21, 2014, VICARIAS CIGARS was launched nationally at Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield, Ohio.
It was a great start for the boys, but almost immediately thoughts turned to "what next?" The VICARIAS line featured great cigars ranging in strength from mild to medium-full. The next logical step was obviously a full-bodied, full-flavored cigar. That cigar would be INVICTIS. It would take a great cigar to live up to that name.
Jay had developed a friendship with master blender and cigar legend José Blanco, and José graciously created INVICTIS exclusively for VICARIAS CIGARS. Emma Viktorsson conceived the artwork and box design. It is, indeed, a cigar worthy of the name.
The VICARIAS Red Label was introduced at the 2016 IPCPR and has been a hit ever since. THE NEGOTIATOR is our latest, a small cigar that Jay has wanted to do for years (if you haven't guessed, he is the "certain CEO" in the story) that was launched September 2019.
At the end of 2019, John and Jerry both decided to retire. With two of the three "J's" now gone, we decided to also retire the TRE J name, shifting the focus to our original line. Thus the entire company is now known as VICARIAS CIGARS. Bob Schiller has been working behind the scenes with the company for several years now (Jay loves to refer to him as "Indispensable Bob") and he has now taken a more active role to help fill the void. A graphic designer by trade, Bob was responsible for all the packaging for THE NEGOTIATOR.
With all the challenges we and the industry have faced, one thing has not changed - VICARIAS CIGARS' commitment to you the consumer. Our goal is to bring you the highest quality premium cigars at an affordable price. We urge you to LIVE VICARIASLY!