Step Into History…
Long Island City (LIC) is already an area wrought with history as old as New York City itself. It was home to many establishments that have since taken their place as prestigious names in their industry — such as piano manufacturers, Steinway & Sons, the New York Architectural Terra-Cotta Company, and other historical landmarks — which can still be seen today across LIC. The original De Nobili Cigar Company — now The Cigar Factory LIC — is among one of those landmarks, although it has since been transformed into prime Long Island City office space.
We knew that we wanted to uphold and foster the history that had been made here. In addition to the physical historical landscape, tenants and visitors of our creative office space can enjoy many historical accents and artwork that pay tribute to the original tenants of 9-20 35th Ave. Read on to learn more about the De Nobili Cigar Company and their contribution to New York history.
The De Nobili Cigar Company Story
The original De Nobili Cigar Company was first conceptualized and built in two phases. The first phase of construction started in 1896 with an expansion occurring in 1930 as De Nobili started to make a name for themselves as one of the most authentic domestic Italian cigar manufacturers in the city. The De Nobili Cigar Company was responsible for employing thousands of local New Yorkers in their heyday and continued to create a prestigious reputation until they were bought in 1952 by the now infamous Avanti Cigar Company.
The Avanti Cigar Company Story
Avanti was founded by three brothers — Dominic, Anthony, and Frank Suraci — from a picturesque coastal town in Southern Italy called Calabria. Already equipped with a love of cigars, the brothers emigrated to America where they formed “Suraci Brothers” in 1912. This brand would go on to take many names over the years — such as “State Leaf Factory” and “Parodi Cigar Company of New York” — and survive the notorious stock market crash of 1929 (albeit not without suffering massive hardships) before eventually evolving into the present-day Avanti Cigar Company operating out of Scranton, PA.
In 1952, the Saraci’s cemented their place in history when they purchased their biggest competitor: The De Nobili Cigar Company of Long Island City. According to Avanti’s website, at the time, De Nobili was responsible for “over 90% of Italian cigars sales in the metro New York area”.
The Saraci’s continued buying up their competitors and bought the last — Petri — in 1963. Seven years later, the cigar that Avanti is best known for first hit the market and the company rebranded officially as the Avanti Cigar Company. The rest, as they say, is history.
The De Nobili Legacy Lives On at The Cigar Factory LIC
Although the original De Nobili cigar factory is now prime Long Island City office space and the product is manufactured by another company, the legacy of the original company lives on in LIC and across the cigar community. Avanti still manufactures original De Nobili cigars crafted in the same authentic way; they remain one of the most sought after machine-made, Italian cigar brands on the domestic market.
It was imperative to us to maintain the integrity of the original space as much as possible when renovating the building as well as pay homage to the times with artwork around the building. Does working in the middle of New York history sound appealing? Tenants come into work every day and witness history for themselves at The Cigar Factory LIC’s creative office space. Creative professionals and those looking for a more communal and creative workspace can work in an office setting that offers historical character with a 21st Century flair, all nestled in the center of Long Island City.