Swisher International Group
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Swisher International Group, with executive offices located in Darien, Connecticut, and operational headquarters located in Jacksonville, Florida, is the world's largest cigar company as measured by units sold and is America’s largest cigar exporter, shipping to nearly 90 countries. Brands include Swisher Sweets, King Edward, and Optimo.
David Swisher, a merchant out of Newark Ohio, received a small cigar business as part of a debt settlement.
Hundreds of cigars are rolled by hand every day in a one-room Manufactury
David sells the company to his sons, Harry and John H. Swisher. The two rename the company Swisher Brothers.
Swisher Brothers grows to three factories, employing over 1,000 people, and producing as many as 300,000 cigars daily.
John buys out his brother Harry's half of the company and brings on his own son Carl. Jno. H. Swisher & Son is established.
After an exhaustive search, Carl selects Jacksonville FL, as the new site of the headquarters. The country's first "fresh work" rolling machines turn on at the Jacksonville headquarters, mass-producing cigars that are superior in uniformity, appearance, and quality. Swisher then became the first to wrap individual cigars in cellophane, and the first to come up with a simple device for removing the cellophane by pulling the cigar band.
The Jacksonville plant is so productive that the Ohio facilities are closed and consolidated into the Florida plant.
During the darkest days of the depression, at a time when most companies are letting people go, Swisher hired hundreds. Swisher's hiring record earned the company Forbes magazines certificate of merit for having had "the vision, courage, and faith in America's future to make large investments in the face of depression problems."
Swisher builds the nation's first industrial children's nursery on the top floor of the Jacksonville headquarters. The King Edward Nursery won nationwide acclaim, with professionally trained nurses and attendants on staff around the clock.
Swisher's King Edward becomes the world's bestselling cigar.
The Jacksonville plant is now the largest cigar factory in the world under one roof.
Swisher expands by opening numerous other facilities in the nearby tobacco-growing areas for handling, processing, storing, and shipping the huge quantities of tobacco needed.
Jno. H Swisher & Sons introduces the Swisher Sweets brand cigar.
The company makes a total of four million cigars per day and ships to all fifty states and forty seven countries.
Jno. H Swisher & Sons is acquired by American Maize Products, a corn processor.
Swisher Sweets Little Cigars begin to land on store shelves. Swisher products are now sold in more than sixty countries around the world.
Swisher grew through several acquisitions including the purchase of Helme Tobacco Company, manufacturers of smokeless tobacco products.
Swisher changes its name from Jno. H. Swisher & Sons, to Swisher International, Inc.
American Maize Products is acquired by Eridania Béghin-Say, a French company; Swisher is sold to William Ziegler III, former CEO of American Maize
Swisher International acquired Miami-based Drew Estate Tobacco Company. Drew Estate's Co-Founders are Jonathan Drew and Marvin Samel, and President Michael Cellucci – and will be a subsidiary of Swisher.
Swisher has announced that they will lay off 450 employees in their Jacksonville, FL office and will outsource them to the Dominican Republic instead of just reducing personnel in the U.S.
Swisher International has a wide range of product offerings, from little cigars, to premium cigars, to smokeless tobacco.
- Business Wire: December 9, 1998-Swisher International Group Inc. Announces Agreement to Go Private and Purchase Shares At $9.50 Per Share
- APPX Software News: April, 2007-Customer Focus: Swisher International
- "Directors of American Maize and Cigar Firm Agree on Merger Terms". Retrieved 26 September 2015.
- "A Bittersweet Harvest For American Maize". Businessweek.com. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
- "Swisher International - Public Relations". Retrieved 26 September 2015.
- WJXT. "Employees face layoffs at several local companies". News4Jax. Retrieved 26 September 2015.