The legend of Partagas
By Alina Veranes
Partagás, one of the brands of Havana cigars that has become legendary inside and outside the Island for its extremely high quality, owes its name to the first surname of its manufacturer and creator, the Catalan Jaime Partagás, native of Barcelona who settled in Cuba in 1840, with little over 20 years.
They say that he started his business in the cigar production back in the municipality of Consolación del Sur in Pinar del Río, where since the beginning of that century a vigorous and growing manufacture of the product began to emerge, by then every day more precious.
A commercial industrial bourgeoisie established itself there, promoting the business of manufacturing and exporting tobacco, spreading such lucrative tasks throughout the bountiful region of Vuelta Abajo, since it soon began to have the reputation that its lands were the best for cultivation of the plant.
Plantations and production were pooled in the estates and it was common for the producers to also be owners of the vegas. You guessed it, friend, Jaime Partagás was at the forefront of those thriving entrepreneurs, along with other few competitors around 1845. His first cigars were called La Puridad de Partagás, and were produced in the factory located in Havana.
Soon this manufacturer began to gain great prestige. He remained among the leaders for a long and stable time and in 1855 he won the gold medal at the Universal Exhibition of that year, for the exquisiteness of his cigars.
He was first a producer and then acquired the Vegas or tobacco lands. A very competitive and exclusive merchant since his birth, full of challenges and obstacles, he had to face the effort and knew how to succeed like few others. However, he died the victim of an ambush at the exit of the town of Pilotos, on June 18, 1868.
He was shot at close range and he died almost immediately. His son continued and expanded the business and the myth of the brand has remained to this day, even in difficult times and ups and downs for the family economy.
Despite the tragic death of its founder, the name was born under a lucky star.