Beacon Farms produces world’s first cigars containing Cayman tobacco

Grown on the North Side and hand-rolled in Bodden Town, the world’s first premium cigar featuring tobacco grown in the Cayman Islands was introduced to local cigar aficionados this month. Cayman tobacco has been produced at Beacon Farms and blended with other hand-selected long leaf tobaccos into a premium cigar that has won praise from Cayman’s most discerning palates.

“This cigar is so new it doesn’t even have a name yet, and the response has exceeded all of our expectations. We are testing and tasting additional blends using this tobacco, and although it is not still available, we hope to introduce our new cigar to the public very soon,” said Scott Haugh, co-founder of Cayman Cigar Company, who hosted a cigar dinner at Abacus Restaurant on Wednesday, February 9 to introduce the new cigar to a select group. of cigar lovers. “We are extremely proud of the team at Beacon Farms who have worked so hard to produce such a high quality tobacco leaf.”

The tobacco for the cigar’s binder, which holds the cigar together, was grown at Beacon Farms, a non-profit agricultural enterprise started by Granger Haugh and Frank “Bud” Volinsky, founder of The Bridge Foundation and tireless advocate for Caymanians in recovery from addiction. .

Volinksy’s vision was to provide agricultural employment to Caymanians in lasting recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, and the idea for the farm was born. Beacon Farms now provides a safe, secure and supervised work environment for approximately 12 staff members with a wide range of responsibilities from operating heavy farm equipment to spreading seedbeds and harvesting many crops from the farm.

Tobacco is one of many crops grown at Beacon Farms, where COO Sandy Urquhart and his team have planted acres of coconut trees alongside several existing species of local mango and banana trees. Additional plantings include callaloo, tomatoes, peppers, and a type of sugar beet called mangel. Mangels are often used as animal fodder, and Beacon Farms expects a bountiful harvest from this interesting and useful vegetable.

Beacon Farms Chief Science Officer, Sasha Appleby, said, “Learning to grow tobacco at a commercial level required constant experimentation with soil pH levels, fertilizers, pest control and irrigation. We are preparing for our third tobacco harvest and this time we hit it big – the leaves are perfect for use as filler tobacco for cigars. It’s the next step in our journey to cigars made with tobacco grown exclusively in the Cayman Islands.

“We call them cigars with a purpose,” Haugh said. “It’s a great example of social entrepreneurship in action. Cultures are cultivated by people learning new skills to help them regain confidence, self-esteem and independence. Tobaccos grown at Beacon Farms will soon end up in Cayman Cigars, which donates 100% of all net profits to charity. To our knowledge, Cayman Cigar Company is the only premium cigar company in the world that donates all of its net profits to charity.

As tobaccos grown at Beacon Farms undergo further research and evaluation, Cayman Cigar Company sources tobaccos from throughout the Caribbean to create its current portfolio of premium hand-rolled cigars. Torcedoras (Master Rollers) Barbara Garcia Anselmo Petrie and Maria Delvis-Hernandez hand roll all Cayman cigars in their little shop in Bodden Town.

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