Inaugurated and fully operational: Las Mesitas processing center boosts superior quality


On January 27th, VCF (Vandermarliere Family of Cigars, owners of Oliva Cigars) officially inaugurated its new processing center ‘Las Mesitas’ near Esteli in northern Nicaragua. Together with Las Llantas, completed at the end of 2021, Las Mesitas is to become the backbone of a philosophy entirely based on the relentless pursuit for quality and a commitment to empower local communities. Both centers are part of the tobacco processing part of VCF, El Fumador, and are key for storing, processing and fermenting tobacco for Tabolisa, the factory of Oliva cigar Company.

Construction of the Las Mesitas complex, 10 kilometers outside of Esteli, began in the fall of 2020. Step by step it has been taken into use. Maximum capacity of the 21.000 m² area, which includes warehouses and green zones or ‘landscapes’, was reached in August last year. Completion of the office spaces, the clinic etc. soon followed.

Quest for Quality

A grand opening was held on January 27th, 2023. Side by side, 9 members of the Vandermarliere family cut the ribbon. In his opening speech, Fred Vandermarliere, who is at the helm of VCF, underscored the impact Las Mesitas will have on the future of the company: “As manufacturers of the world’s finest cigars, we are also guardians of quality, on an everlasting quest to find perfection. We are now very well equipped for that mission.”

Indeed, Las Mesitas is all about quality improvement and control. No less than 240 pylons of approximately 2000 kg at once enjoy plenty of space here to undergo the crucial fermentation process. For tobacco to offer premium flavor, temperature, tobacco moisture and humidity are the key parameters that are monitored 24/7, with a combination of technology, data and the eyes and ears of experienced craftsmen.
“Las Mesitas and Las Llantas, in Condega, both embody our goal to offer fans around the world the very best, every time again. They close the circle of production from seed to cigar and assure the entire loop is structured to aim for maximum quality. We control every aspect of the premium item you fire up to enjoy a unique moment”, says Fred Vandermarliere

320 jobs and a thriving local community

The Las Mesitas complex is state-of-the-art in terms of infrastructure and technology. It also represents a major long-term investment. 320 employers keep the processing center running, from logistics, operations and packaging up to administration and safety.

Las Mesitas wants to boost the entire Esteli community. With the construction comes an impulse to the local economy and support to raise education levels and upgrade medical safety. “You can’t talk about quality that stems from exceptional origin and is forged by exceptional people without talking about fairness. We invest in the local community because we want every premium cigar to connect everyone involved: from farmer to worker to aficionado. That’s the other circle, the circle of purpose.” says Ernesto Milanes, head of the tobacco operations of the Longfiller group.

This support to the local community extends well into the future, explains Fred Vandermarliere: “One lifetime is only a short period of time. But what we build, survives us, it serves many generations to come. Look at all the beautiful cities and cathedrals that have been built here hundreds of years ago. We wanted to achieve something similar with what we’ve done. It wasn’t strictly necessary and it doesn’t bring any money back to us. But we hope we’ve made Nicaragua a little bit better and nicer. As an industry we should take our responsibility. We need to help the city of Esteli and its surroundings. Maybe like that, 200 years from now they will talk about Esteli as they do now about Granada or Leon. I believe we can achieve that.”

share this: Facebook, Twitter