Foundation Cigar Company has announced the opening of its new office in the Connecticut River Valley. Situated on a 300-acre farm owned by Dunn & Foster in Ellington, Connecticut, this strategic move is described as a demonstration of the company’s strong dedication to promoting and supporting the exceptional tobacco that the region is able to produce. The collaboration stems from a long-standing friendship between Nicholas Melillo, the owner of Foundation Cigars, and Jon Foster. “Nick and I have been friends for 20 years. We have a shared love and passion for CT River Valley Tobacco and the same interest in preserving and promoting this unique, growing region.” shares Foster.
The Connecticut River Valley has a rich heritage of tobacco farming, boasting fertile soils, an ideal climate, and a unique legacy. The region’s significance is often overlooked outside the cigar industry, but Melillo is actively working toward change that perception. With the new office located on Jon Foster’s historic farm, Foundation will be ideally placed to play an active role in not only the growing process itself but also the research and development of new seed and leaf varieties.
The Connecticut River Valley derives its name from the Mohegan-Pequot word “Quinnehtukqut,” meaning the “long tidal river.” Its geographical formation dates back 15,000 years when a large glacier covered the area, transforming into the Connecticut River and leaving behind rich soil that lends Connecticut tobacco its unique characteristics. Nicholas Melillo aptly describes the region as the “Napa Valley of cigar tobacco,” highlighting the importance of raising awareness about its significance. “Most people outside the cigar world don’t realize its importance. I hope to help change this. The connection between Nicaragua and Connecticut has profoundly impacted my career and represents the heart and soul of Foundation Cigars. Jon and I have the same vision for the CT River Valley, so it made sense to collaborate and put Foundation’s home offices on his historic farm,” he describes.
Dunn & Foster, the partner of Foundation Cigar Company in this venture, is the result of the combined efforts of two agricultural families with deep roots in the Connecticut River Valley. The Dunn family has been involved in producing high-quality Connecticut Broadleaf for four generations, while the Foster family boasts over 300 years of experience in agricultural production. Jon Foster, now leading the company, continues the tradition of growing and sourcing high-quality tobacco for use in premium, hand-rolled cigars. They prioritize embracing progressive growing practices and advancements in seed production to deliver the finest tobacco possible. While the address of the new office has been made public, it is by invitation only, so cigar heads are asked not to just show up and start knocking.