JC Newman

May 17, 2024

J.C. Newman’s Founder's Day features Cuban Sandwich Eating Challenge

WHAT: Cuban Sandwich Eating Challenge and J.C. Newman’s Founder's Day

WHEN: Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: J.C. Newman Cigar Co., 2701 N. 16th Street, Tampa, FL 33605

WHO: World Champion Competitive Eaters Miki Sudo and Nick Wehry, and the Newman Family              

Tomorrow, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. will celebrate its 129th anniversary by hosting its annual free Founder’s Day festival from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The highlight of the day will be the Cuban Sandwich Eating Challenge at 1:00 p.m. Modeled after Nathan’s Famous annual Hot Dog Eating Competition in Coney Island on July 4, world champion competitive eaters Miki Sudo and Nick Wehry will compete against Drew Garabo of 102.5 The Bone and enthusiastic J.C. Newman employees to see who can eat the most Cuban Sandwiches in 8 minutes.

 “There is no better way to celebrate Tampa’s historic cigar tradition than with a cigar and a Cuban sandwich, the traditional lunch of Tampa’s cigar workers,” said fourth generation owner Drew Newman. “A century ago, Tampa’s Ybor City cigar district was a wonderful melting pot of languages, cultures, religions, and foods that immigrants from Spain, Cuba, Italy, Germany, and elsewhere brought to Tampa when they built its famous cigar industry in the 1880s. The Cuban sandwich literally represents the diversity of our community. The Spaniards brought the ham. The Cubans added the pork. The Italians introduced the salami. The Germans included the Swiss cheese and pickles. All of these ingredients are pressed together just like the melting pot that is Ybor City.”

 Founded in May 1895, J.C. Newman is the oldest family-owned cigar company in the United States. It’s historic El Reloj cigar factory in Tampa is the last traditional cigar factory still operating not only in Tampa but is the last traditional cigar factory in the United States. Inside El Reloj, J.C. Newman handcrafts 60,000 cigars per day the same way that it did 100 years ago. In celebration of its 125th anniversary in 2020, the Newman family restored its El Reloj factory and invited the public to visit its cigar museum, tour the factory, take a cigar-rolling class, or attend an event – all in an effort to keep Tampa’s historic cigar tradition alive and preserve it for future generations.

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