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San Martin & Leon
West Tampa

 
This 16,897 square foot brick cigar factory building was built in 1900 for the A. Santaella & Co. ​, when A. Santaella & Co. outgrew the facilities and moved out in 1904, the Leopold Powell & Co. moved its New York operations here where they operated until 1914.

In 1912, then 26 year old Cuban born Jorge R. León arrived in Tampa from Cuba where he had worked in his family's tobacco plantations and learned very well the tobacco leaf growing and cutting aspects of the cigar industry.  Promptly after arriving in Tampa he became a partner in the Ybor City firm P. San Martin Cigar Co. and renamed it the San Martin & León Cigar Co.  In 1914 San Martin & León Cigar Co. acquired the Leopold Powell & Co. and consolidated its operation at this location where they remained until 1928. 

The San Martin & León Cigar Co. manufactured the Flor de San Martin & León, Hoyo de Cuba and El Briche brands using in their blends tobacco leafs from the León family's plantations in Cuba.  Their cigars were sold in the US and enjoyed great popularity in Argentina where shipments were made directly from Tampa.
 
Other companies that used this factory building were:
 
  • The C.M. Gil Cigar Co (1926-1928)
  • The Gallo and Baer Company (1946) and
  • The Adrian Cigar Company (1949).
 
In subsequent years, this building would serve as a clubhouse for the Spanish, Italian, American, and Cuban clubs. On May 21, 1992 its then owner Frayne Sportswear Manufacturers, Inc. sold the property to Sam S. Martino.  On October 19, 1999 title was transferred from Sam S. Martino to All Bay Contactors Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc., its current owner.