Foundation Cigar Company is dedicated to quality, consistency, balance, flavor, and building brands with heart and soul.

Founder Nicholas Melillo

Our Values

With over 20 years of love and dedication for the industry, we merge old world traditions with modern-day styles and customs to produce unique premium cigars.



Our goal is to work with specially selected tobacconists who recognize our passion and dedication for quality artisan products. We have developed strong relationships with some of the best tobacco growers throughout the world and have established our production in the valley of Esteli, Nicaragua.



Founder and master blender, Nicholas Melillo has traveled the world procuring tobacco, toiled in factories overseeing production, and blended some of the top-rated and best-selling cigars in the industry.


Balance & Flavor

Under his watchful eye, Foundation Cigars are inspected and each bale of tobacco is smoked to verify flavor, combustion, and aroma.

About Nicholas Melillo

Nicholas Melillo is a well-known cigar maker in the premium cigar industry. He is the founder and owner of the Foundation Cigar Company, which produces a range of high-quality, handcrafted cigars.


Melillo began his career in the cigar industry at the age of 18, working in a cigar shop, the Calabash Shoppee, in his home state of Connecticut. He went on to work for a well-known cigar company, Drew Estate,  Where He Developed Some of Their Most Popular Blends. In 2015, he started Foundation Cigar Company to create unique and flavorful cigars that would appeal to novice and experienced smokers.


Melillo is known for his expertise in tobacco growing and blending and his commitment to using only the finest quality tobacco in his cigars. As a result, his blends are often complex and flavorful, focusing on rich, nuanced flavors and a balance of strength and complexity.


Melillo has a deep passion for tobacco and has spent many years studying the art of cigar making. He has traveled extensively throughout Central America and the world, visiting tobacco farms and learning from some of the most experienced cigar makers in the world.


One of Melillo’s signature blends, El Güegüense, was named consensus cigar of the year in 2015 and made Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 list. In addition, the Maduro version, The Wise Man, was named #3 Cigar of the year by Cigar Aficionado and the Charter Oak #1 Best Buys of 2018.

Melillo’s other notable blends include the Tabernacle, which features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and a blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos.


Melillo is highly regarded in the premium cigar industry for his expertise and dedication to the craft of cigar making. His cigars are sought after by enthusiasts worldwide and have received numerous accolades and awards.


Melillo’s reputation in the industry has earned him a loyal following among cigar lovers and professionals. He is considered one of the leading figures in the modern premium cigar industry, and his work has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades.


In addition to his work as a cigar maker, Melillo is also an advocate for the premium cigar industry. He has been active in lobbying efforts to protect the rights of cigar smokers and cigar makers.

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