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About Oliva Tobacco Company


Tampa Headquarters

Oliva Tobacco Company moved to its current location, 3104 N. Armenia Avenue, in 1999. The structure was built in 1882 as the Bonded Havana Cigar Company.

Its history from there is somewhat vague until 1907 when Alvaro Garcia and Jose Vega (Garcia y Vega) took over the building to produce ten brands of cigars.

The “Garcia y Vega” name remains on the exterior of the building. In 1922, Villazon Cigar Company began operations in the structure The company was purchased by General Cigar Holdings, Inc. in the late nineties.





Ybor City Headquarters 1980 to 1999

Southeast Corner Palm Avenue and Angel Oliva Sr. Street (formerly 18th Street)

The building was constructed in the late 1800’s as a cigar factory and is most noted for housing the Monett Cigar Company early on. It was originally a wood structure but was gradually transformed into more heat-resistant construction after a fire in Ybor City in 1908 destroyed 55 acres of factories, residences and commercial structures.

 

 

 

 

 







First Ybor Office 1947 to 1980

1313 Eighth Avenue - Originally Tampa Fire Station #4

 

Formerly housing Ybor City’s very first fire station, the building was Oliva Tobacco Company’s home for more than 30 years. It was a night club and bar for a time in the 1990’s when Ybor suddenly exploded with nightlife.

The former Oliva Tobacco headquarters is shown here as it was during its tobacco years … and as it looks today as a former night club.

Being off the beaten path, it was probably never meant to be a popular watering hole.









First Tampa Office 1934 to 1947

1717 North Franklin Street

Oliva Tobacco Company was incorporated in the State of Florida in 1934 and set up shop at 1717 N. Franklin Street, just south of Henderson Avenue at the north edge of downtown, the same year.

The company was just over a block from the main branch of the Tampa Public Library at that time. The photo at right (about 1945), was taken in front of the building and shows, from left: Marcelino Oliva, Angel's brother; Jose Suarez, Angel's early partner who drove the delivery truck and oversaw the warehouse; Martin Oliva, Angel's brother who assisted in sales; Alice Oliva, who came to work as office manager for the company early on and eventually married Martin; and Angel Oliva.

The company grew and prospered to the point a larger facility was necessary. Oliva Tobacco's next home was the old Ybor fire station almost two miles away.