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How Did ADVentura Start?

Updated: Apr 10

Aka How did the ship set sail?

As with any story, the tale of ADVentura has multiple beginnings depending on your perspective. Today, we’re sharing our view on how the ADV ship set sail, focused on two young upstarts: Marcel Knobel and Henderson Ventura.

When a 30 something cigar lover, sommelier and marketer decided to go against the grain and open a retail store dedicated to his passion, little did Marcel Knobel know he would make a literal, worldwide impact with his love and dedication to the premium cigar industry.

Born and raised in a small village just outside of Zurich, Marcel was introduced to his love of cigars from his father and uncle. To say Switzerland is a very cigar friendly country is an understatement. For a population of just 8.3 million, they import over 12 million premium cigars yearly! Switzerland also sets a high standard for their youth to choose a trade or higher education path at a very young age. Although Marcel routed for the higher education in marketing, he found himself wanting more, and had an entrepreneurial itch he wanted to scratch.

Marcel at Cuba d'Oro

Initially, he opened a small retail store specializing in Cuban cigars. After a short time, he found himself being interested and in search of expanding his palate and knowledge for cigars from other places such as, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. As with many European countries, Cuban cigars tend to dominate, and blends from South and Central America are less popular. So Marcel set out to learn more about these countries, and what better way to introduce a new territory to the humidor with authenticity than to travel to these countries himself in search of a “house blend” of his own!

Marcel ventured down to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic to do his research as any well trained Swiss does, and find the best fit for his humidor. In 2015, he met a young, but equally passionate Henderson Ventura and shared his plan and vision for how he wanted to brand his “house blend.” It came down to telling both his story and the origin of tobacco; coming from the old world to the new, filled with ADVenture, adversity, and triumph. Henderson could barely contain himself, and exited the room quickly to shortly return with a cigar in hand, and said… I have the start of the blend that fits perfectly with the story, and with that, ADVentura The Explorer was born.

Back in Switzerland with the new blend in the humidor, Marcel shared this treasure with a dear friend and cigar importer. He adored this blend and asked why Marcel wasn’t trying to sell it to other retailers? Simply stated, “i’m one person and don’t have time to knock on doors.” The importer replied, “Well, I have a team and we do.”

The following year, Marcel ventured back down the Dominican Republic to work on a second line and blend, after discussing the opportunities and love of the blend in Switzerland, Henderson asked if Marcel was interested in having a partner for this new brand. To Marcel, having the producer as your partner could not be more ideal. With that, not only was ADVentura The Navigator was born, but an idea to grow the brand all over Europe and if possible, the US.

Now in his own right, Henderson Ventura was already fairly well know for blending other brands being produced at his family’s factory. His characteristics and story up until this point, is one for longevity and legend. When your curiosity for the power a single cigar has in terms of nostalgia, conversation, and time it offers, that you begin a curious journey at 8 years old, you are able to develop your palate leaps and bounds by the time you reach 30. That is Henderson Ventura. The kid who instead of playing baseball after school or with friends, would go to the factory and ask suppliers about quality and characteristics of tobacco. The kid who studied rollers’ techniques and what it was like to see and taste finesse, and had a father who lead by example. A quiet storm whose reputation precedes him. His curiosity doesn’t stop at tobacco and everything related to it, but he is also a voracious reader of philosophy and business, and truly loves adventure. He is not just determined to vertically integrate ADVentura as a brand with a farm, and factory, but continually demand recognition of making “Dominican” a style of blending.

Without picking up the phone, Germany became interested in ADVentura. Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, England, Sweden, Australia, Dubai, Serbia, Lebanon, and Taiwan followed shortly after, along with the launch of ADVentura The Conqueror and The Royal Return. ADVentura was becoming an actual brand.

In 2018, ADVentura was ready for the big leagues and decided to launch in the USA. Marcel also was ready for the big leagues, decided to marry an American girl, Nicole Knobel. She came from the beauty industry, but being American, is very well acquainted with the culture and best business practices… The holy trinity of strategy (Marcel), production (Henderson) and logistics (Nicole) was formed, and now, well, watch out world, ADVentura is on the move and hungry for world domination.

Today, we continue to pursue our original goal of exploring and bringing new world flavors and tobaccos to the old world. With our relentless pursuit of quality, our unrivalled curiosity, and unparalleled expertise in the world of tobacco and blending, we’re confident that any ADVentura cigar you choose will live up to your expectations.

So, what do you say? Want to set sail with us?

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