European Fuente Shop delayed. A few months ago, Sasja van Horssen launched a new, ambitious and daring project. The first-ever Fuente exclusive retail location in Europe. Right in the heart of the city, near museums like Stedelijk Museum for contemporary art, Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum. A daring plan, but Van Horssen, a long time Arturo Fuente distributor, have faith in the concept. So he signed a 10-year lease on a retail store close to his Cigaragua shop and the La Casa del Habano Amsterdam.
But then the world got hit with a virus. A deadly virus that stopped the world from turning. Countries went into lockdown and those lockdowns are still in place. With no vaccine in sight, it’s unclear what the near future is going to look like. The largest cigar trade show in the world, PCA in Las Vegas is canceled. Factories in the Dominican Republic were shut for weeks. The Honduran cigar production came to a full standstill. And so did tourism. A specialty shop, with luxurious and rare Arturo Fuente cigars, relies on tourists. Especially in a relatively small country such as The Netherlands.
Van Dalen Cigars
Since the lease is already signed, and an Arturo Fuente exclusive shop without tourism isn’t profitable, Van Horssen came up with a solution. Besides Cigaragua, Van Horssen owns the Van Dalen Cigars tobacconists too. The original location in Den Bosch, one in Rotterdam, and since last year one in Dordrecht. So for now, the new shop in Amsterdam will be the new Van Dalen Cigars retail, Van Dalen Cigars Amsterdam. But as soon as the pandemic is over and the world is going back to normal, the original plan will surface again.
Van Dalen Cigars sells cigars from all regions. Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic but also dry-cured short fillers from Asia and The Netherlands. Most of the cigars sold at the Van Dalen Cigars shops are brands that Van Horssen imports and distributes through his import company Longfiller Company. With the exception of the Cuban brands, that are distributed by Cubacigar Benelux. The portfolio from Longfiller Company includes Arturo Fuente, PDR, and Kristoff from the Dominican Republic. Alec Bradley and CLE are the Honduran brands Longfiller Company is carrying. But the majority of the brands come from Nicaragua and include some of the biggest names in the industry. My Father Cigars, Tatuaje, Padron. Joya de Nicaragua, Fratello, A.J. Fernandez, Condega, Illusione, Oliva, Perdomo, Rocky Patel, DH Boutique Cigars, and a handful of other brands.