While the news of Oliva Cigars being under new management isn’t recent, there is an update regarding the Oliva family and what’s been going on since the change in management in 2016.
By Simon Lundh
Posted on November 2, 2018
“I still feel like it’s mine, like it’s part of me, and hopefully I will be around for many years to come.” Gilberto Oliva sits, cigar in hand, in the Oliva Cigar Company office in Estelí. We’re talking about the company he’s worked for and owned together with his siblings, José, Carlos, and Jeannie, for more than 20 years. That is until 2016, when Fred Vandermarliere took over ownership.
“It’s been our life, but the family was growing, we all have kids now and different members had different interests,” he says. Today only two of them, Gilberto and José, are involved in the business. “I’m very involved in the growing part and the blending, on a consultant basis, but Frederik (Vandermarliere, CEO of J. Cortès) makes me feel like I’m still part of it. Tobacco is my life. I breathe, eat, and sleep tobacco.” José has continued as the CEO; it remains to be seen for how long.