Meet the founder-owner of Tabanero Cigars at N 16th and E 7th Ave in Ybor City, Yanko Maceda. Yanko’s mission is simple, it is to be passionate about something that matters, In Yanko’s case it’s cigars, the cigar industry and his beloved city of Ybor. He does not care about fame, fortune or the pursuit of wealth and financial success. For Yanko, it is about living a purposeful life, and seeing the industry he loves, survives.
Recently awarded the prestigious Adela Gonzmart Award for his contribution to Ybor City through ongoing efforts to restore legacy and heritage to the cigar industry, Yanko, a Cuban immigrant, proudly accepted. He continues to work hard producing high-quality products with a focus on quality not quantity. Yanko encourages boutique cigar companies to locate their businesses in Tampa. Considering his passion it came as no surprise to learn Yanko offers support to potential new businesses by sharing his resources with other cigar manufacturers as a way to expand the cigar industry.
Founded in 2007, Tabanero Cigars became a brand in 2011. As they celebrate their 5th anniversary Yanko shared with us the plight of the cigar business in Tampa, explaining how the cigar industry as a whole is in a war, a war with the FDA.This past May, the FDA announced restrictions on the cigar industry—banning free samples, increasing warning labels, requiring a costly, time-consuming approval process for new products, and more. The approval process alone will derail most businesses. As the FDA remains bogged down, conservative estimates are it will take thousands of hours and upwards of $200,000 for a cigar maker to introduce one new product to the market. Caught up in the FDA’s anti-tobacco campaign, small, family owned and operated cigar businesses like Tabanero Cigars, are being snuffed out.
Ardent to preserve the history and heritage of the cigar business as we know it, Yanko continues the fight, taking pride in every cigar he sells. Tabanero Cigars guarantees a fresh, artisan made cigar using only Oliva Tobacco.
Angel Oliva, a proud tobacco farmer had an unrivaled instinct when it came to the tobacco leaf and a selfless dedication to the cigar industry. Delivering the absolute best tobacco to Tampa’s cigar factories since 1934, Angel Oliva toiled over the soil, studied seed strains, sorted, and was often seen crouching to feel the dirt. Oliva Tobacco is grown from Cuban seed in the Caribbean, South and Central Americas.
When you meet Yanko you feel his passion, he transmits energy, and in his establishment, you feel welcomed; Tabanero Cigars is a place where one could easily become lost, smoking cigars, discussing politics and swapping stories all day long. Smoke a hand rolled cigar from the Tabanero Factory, immerse yourself. Yanko explains, “Each cigar is an extension of our love for cigar making.”
Maceda dreams of the day when, "Tampa is back on the map as being the handmade cigar capital of the world." As a cigar maker, the Tabanero Factory has access to the finest tobacco and the best rollers, Yanko invites you to taste the difference, experience a Tabanero today! And while you are visiting, ask how you can support Tampa’s rich cigar history this November. Come, meet Tabanero Cigars passionate owner Yanko and his team! Walk the historic sidewalks of Ybor City, dine in one of the area's excellent restaurants and learn why Yanko is passionate about his city and the future of cigars.