CREMO HISTORY: SOLID ROOTS
Established in 1896, the original Cremo Cigar was an icon of early America and the most successful, top-selling cigar brand of the early 20th century in its class. Headquartered in Manhattan, NYC, Cremo boasted factories in farfetched locations in the continental United States and a plantation in South Carolina.
The Cigar Factory, where our cigars were packed, employed an expansive workforce consisting of working class, black and white women and men, mostly so young that it became known as ‘Cremo College’. The factory remained one of the few civilian workplaces that proudly provided a full-day’s wage by the 30’s and our Great Depression.
The humble-yet-high-grade Certified Cremo 5¢ went on to pick up the ‘Cream of the Islands’ watchword, such was its stature and established quality among the public, its nickeled price tag becoming a standard echoed by Thomas Marshall, Woodrow Wilson’s VP, in his famous quip, "What this country needs is a good 5-cent cigar!"
REVITALIZING CREMO: MAKING SMOKE SIGNALS AGAIN
A new dawn awaits in the 21st century. In 2010, Walter ‘Lilo’ Santiago, a native New Yorker, pumped new life into brand and company to see them rise from their ashes.
Cremo’s Revival pivots on a redefined, 4-thronged brand ethos, namely:
- Superior quality, in-house hand rolled American cigars highlighting old-school methods
- Distinctive, flavor-forward smoking experience
- Pocket-brand, ultra-boutique approach favoring personal customer connection
- Pride of place, insisting on community networking and local sourcing
Premium quality begins with equating own brand to own factory, an end-to-end process where personal quality control is paramount. Cremo now proudly operates the first ever cigar factory in the history of Historic Overtown, a vibrant neighborhood in Miami, Florida, which draws a number of historical and cultural parallels and shared references with Cremo (i.e. Overtown’s charter dates back to 1896). Essential to our finest cigar-making pledge is the commitment to Cuban-style construction, an island flavor achieved primarily through the employment of Cuban-born, Level 9 cigar rollers.
Cremo’s distinctive flavor profile benefits from staying true to its 120+ year history of premium quality cigar blending, while incorporating the vision of new smoking habits and smoker values: unique blend, pre-light feel, draw, flavors, palate, progress and long finish.
Personal and dedicated quality service is how we are already capturing the taste buds and minds of our clientele, a customer reach and connection that we aim to keep expanding staying true to our prestige boutique standing.
Company founder George Washington Hill’s still famous wall and façade painting commission established the brand as a household name all over America. Importantly, this creative approach is an integral part to the adoption of mural painting as an advertising medium, a jazz that has come back as a winning force that very much defines the general area where Cremo has established its factory today: Historic Overtown. Located in Miami, Florida, and surrounded by similar art-conscious neighborhoods, Overtown draws certain parallels with Cremo, both digging their roots to exactly the same year and era: 1896. And both boasting proud histories, now catapulted into a new age of cultural revival and invigorated sense of self.