Foundry Tobacco Company, a subsidiary brand under General Cigar Company, has been acquired by Kretek International, the parent company of Ventura Cigar. The acquisition puts Foundry back under the stewardship of the man who launched the brand for General Cigar, Ventura Cigar Company General Manager Michael Giannini.
Under the transaction, the brands of Foundry will immediately move over to Kretek International, who will also handle distribution of the brands. Of note, the Time Flies line – a collaboration done with AJ Fernandez – is one of the brands which will now be sold by Kretek International.
It’s both a new day, and a familiar day,” stated Giannini in a press release. “To see Foundry boxes on my Ventura Cigars’ desk is a little bit unreal. And yet, it seems so normal to have them sitting there. Almost like they are returning home. I’m thankful to General Cigars for taking such good care of the brand, and to the solid relationship between General and Kretek International that enabled this new phase for Foundry. I’m proud to represent the brand, both where it started, and now where it’s headed.”
Foundry was a brand known for its conceptual themes and stories into its products. Ventura Cigar Company is the premium cigar arm for Kretek International and is known for using a similar approach to marketing and branding its products – most notably with its Case Study (inspired by the architecture of homes) and Archetype (inspired by the works of Dr. Carl Jung) brands. This is something that made Ventura a good fit for Giannini when he returned to the cigar industry in 2017 after departing General Cigar the year before.
“We’re excited to bring Foundry Tobacco Company brands into our fold,” says Jason Carignan, CMO of Kretek International, Inc. “Their products have an edge that plays well with our vibe, and the quality of their smoke is exactly what we’ve built Kretek’s reputation upon. General Cigars has done an amazing job with Foundry, and we’re going to keep up the good work that they’ve started.”
While it was still a part of the portfolio, Foundry brand has pretty much been dormant at General Cigar for the past year. Foundry was launched in 2012. At the time Giannini had been heading up “Team La Gloria” Cubana at General Cigar and had transformed La Gloria Cubana into one of the more innovative brands at General. With Foundry, Giannini continued the innovative concepts launching themes such as the Steampunk Movement, the War of the Currents between Edison and Tesla, the Periodic Table of Elements, Time Travel, and Martian Tobacco. In 2015 General switched directions with the brands, Foundry became a home to re-imaged versions of the Ramon Allones, Bolivar, and Temple Hall Estates brands.
Kretek International says there are also plans underway to develop new projects under Foundry.