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The Story of Mina del Rey

Updated: Apr 10

AKA How to Walk the Plank and Survive

Most heroic stories of overcoming hardship, whether on land or sea, begin with a seemingly insurmountable challenge. This is the story of the recent crisis faced by ADVentura cigars, and its exciting road to recovery.

The Tabacalera Mina del Rey Team

The Beginnings:

As a brand that had wind in its sails, ADVentura was becoming a popular and increasingly well-known boutique brand in over 15 countries worldwide; holding its own in this industry, known mainly for the ADV tales, and blends that had that “something special” about them.

Truly, this is everything you could want starting out as a boutique brand, if not more. What began as the kernel of an idea to create a unique “house blend” for Marcel had spawned into an international brand with amazing supporters and retailers behind us.

But just when goals were getting bigger and all seemed right in the world, BAM, we were kidnapped by pirates, blind folded and about to walk the plank with ball and chains attached to your ankles. That’s what we like to call “The Fire.”

The Fire:

The fire began in a neighboring building, jumped to the ADVentura factory, and by dawn’s first light, Tabacalera William Ventura (where all of the ADVentura Cigars were produced) was burnt to the ground. The prior successful momentum of ADVentura had run aground and the plans for ADV’s future were reduced to ashes.

Unexpected tragedy cannot be avoided, but the real test is how the victim of the tragedy reacts to the challenges of moving forward. In the smokey remains of the destroyed factory, solutions seemed distant and unattainable. Ultimately, we realized that the factory and production process would need to be rebuilt from scratch.

The real question was whether the ADV team was prepared for the financial, physical, and emotional challenges of managing a factory reconstruction process in the Dominican Republic. In essentially starting from ground zero again and rebuilding everything that had come before. And we answered with a resounding “Yes!”

So we set out with an ambitious new plan in mind: we would build back bigger, stronger, and better than before. We would create our own factory – a home base where we could continue to make amazing cigars for our supporters across the world, and where we could do things our way.

The Rebirth:

Henderson inspecting cigars in the factory

Lofty goals, right? But don’t forget, our Co-Founder Henderson Ventura has a bit of fame and pedigree in his own right, having blended brands that are very well-known in the industry. Not to mention, Henderson is the son of a legend who has breathed and lived tobacco since before he could talk. The goal was to have the family remain tightly intact to carry and evolve the legacy of Dominican style blending and producing cigars.

But, the calling to pivot that family plan into an “outside of the family” venture with a Swiss and American partner, pulled harder than sailing over plate tectonics and trying to read your compass.

With that, the Band-Aid was ripped off and construction began. Just 3 months after making the decision, we had a building, team, and production of ADVentura cigars in motion. This was the true test of our sea legs. Scary? Exciting? Nerve wracking? All of the above times 100, but oddly satisfying and empowering.

Tabacalera Mina del Rey (The Mine of the King) pays homage to our best-selling cigar thus far, King’s Gold, and gives a nod to the fact that we consider the factory to be a gold mine, just pacing itself to produce gem after gem. This wasn’t in our plans, but in hindsight, this is exactly where we needed to be. We are already producing a few Limited Edition releases and little gems that will drop over the next few months, and soon we look forward to expanding these chapters of the true ADVentura ADVentures.

With the support of all our fantastic retail partners and cigar lovers, we know Tabacalera Mina de Rey will be a success that we can all be proud of.

As we sail forward combining the best of Dominican passion and Swiss precision, we invite you to join on this voyage keeping our sails full of hope and our navigation tried and true. Whatever battles may appear on the horizon, Team ADVentura is prepared.  

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