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Tampa’s last cigar factory is getting a makeover and museum

TAMPA, Fla. — Eric Newman wants his Ybor City-based company to become a major tourist attraction.

“Like the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky.” says Newman.

He is the president of the 125-year-old J.C. Newman Cigar Company.

RELATED: Tampa’s last cigar factory fights FDA regulations to stay in business

There used to be 150 cigar factories in Tampa, which is the reason it got the “Cigar City” nickname.

J.C. Newman is the last one alive. The factory hand-rolls and machine-makes about 12 million cigars a year.

The factory is getting a major makeover, complete with a new museum and a company store.

Once it opens in May, visitors can enjoy different tours – including a free one – and see the same machines cigarmakers used for over a century.

For more on the J.C. Newman Cigar Company, visit www.jcnewman.com.

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