A Cuban Cigar Treasure in Ybor City
Cigar City in Tampa
Owned by a cuban woman who came to Tampa with a business in mind, La Faraona Cigars is an amazing little cigar shop in Ybor City. In spite of it being an industry ruled by men, she still wanted to jump in to the cigar business in no other place than 'cigar paradise' Ybor City in Tampa. Ybor City is a historic neighborhood founded in the 1800's by Spanish cigar manufacturer Vicente Martinez Ybor. It was quickly populated by immigrants from Cuba, Spain and Italy. The cigar industry became one of the main sources to build the city of Tampa and it helped it grow from an economically distressed village to a bustling city, later known by "Cigar City".
Visiting new places in Ybor City
While visiting Ybor City for my second time, I came to notice this awesome little cigar shop called La Faraona Cigars. Located in E 7th Ave, it immediately caught my eye because of the window sign, that reads: Bustelo Cafe, and underneath it reads Cigars. I thought to myself, "Wow! What an awesome place to be! The wonderful smell of coffee and cigars all in one place!". And no, I do not smoke cigars. But I do enjoy the art behind cigar rolling, the smell, and the passion that cigar rollers have for their craft. When I went inside, I was amazed with the beautiful pharaoh statues, allusive to the name of the shop, surrounded by shiny wooden cabinets with glass doors filled with beautifully, hand made cigars.
The Story Behind La Faraona Cigars in Ybor City
There was a lady rolling cigars at the very moment I walked in and the passion and detail she carried on to her work were simply breathtaking. One of the store employees came to talk with my husband and me about the history behind this shop. What captured me the most was how Odelma, the owner, came to be known through her marketing strategy. She really wanted to stand out, in fact, she felt she had to. Starting out in this cigar industry ruled by men, she knew she had to find a way for her business to be respectfully recognized. She became her own model, her own promotion, her own strategy. She used the sensuality behind cigars + woman to promote her business. Meaning, all of her marketing material featured no other than herself! I personally thought this was incredibly smart!
She caught the eye of many people, later on becoming one of the most known cigar shops in West Florida.
I could really go on and on about all that I learned while at this little cigar shop in Ybor City, but for now, I'll leave you with some of the images I took with my iPhone! Yes, if you already know me, you should know how much I love taking just my iPhone during my short trips. 😀
I hope that one day you'll get to visit Ybor City and stop by this little spot named La Faraona Cigars.
The combination of coffee and cigars, all in one, instantly caught my eye!
They have this little corner set up with antique currency from different places.
Pharaoh statues, allusive to the name of the shop, La Faraona.
The art of rolling cigars really amazes me! So much detail and passion.
The shop even features a picture of the owner with Steven Spielberg from his last visit to this publicly known cigar shop. And right at the top of this picture, you can see a portrait of the owner smoking a cigar, that has been used for her marketing and promotions.
Rolled cigars simbolize perfection!
The following images are from some views around Ybor City, which I love so much! The historic feel to this little town, and the beauty of the old buildings, is simply worth seeing.
Yanitza Ninett is a Lifestyle & Portrait Photographer based in Orlando, serving the Central Florida area, St. Augustine and Georgia. Her blog, Pieces of Me, features most of her work, along with photography tips, lifestyle sessions, personal experiences and travels. Yanitza Ninett documents Engagement Sessions, Beach Weddings, Seniors, Family Sessions & Boudoir. The YN Experience characterizes by giving an unforgettable photography experience along with professionalism and dedication. We are about telling stories...your story! Contact us for more info!