Avanti Cigar Moves to the Dominican Republic

Photo: sezerozger

The Avanti Cigar Co. is moving its production from the United States to the Dominican Republic, citing high labor cost and difficulty in finding employees as reasons for the decision, according to a report in the Standard-Speaker.

After manufacturing premium cigars for more than 90 years in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, Avanti will shut down its U.S. factory on Aug. 31.

“The last two years have been difficult due to the Covid-19 pandemic; it is getting harder and harder to hire skilled people, able to learn and manage production activities and to guarantee business sustainability in the medium [term] and long term,” the company wrote in a statement.

Founded in 1912 in New York City as Suraci Brothers, the company moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, around 1930, then to Dunmore in 2013.

David Ozgo, president of the Cigar Association of America, said Avanti’s move overseas fits a trend.

“This is a trend that’s been going on for decades,” Ozgo said. “In the U.S., we make a lot of premium tobacco. There is a real issue in hiring employees that probably makes it more attractive for them to move to the Dominican Republic.”