In 1874, Roger Sullivan (known as R.G. Sullivan) began a small cigar showroom and manufacturing facility in Manchester, New Hampsire, at 724 Elm St. At the time, he was manufacturing what was then referred to as “clear Havana” cigars (indicating the filler tobacco was Cuban) under the brand name Little Star Dust. Eventually Mr. Sullivan changed the name to 7-20-4, commemorating his address on Elm Street. Around 1909, Sullivan bought a seven-story building on Canal Street in Manchester and opened the 7-20-4 factory. By 1925, the 7-20-4 line was world famous, claiming to be the largest manufacturer of 10 cent cigars in the world, producing some 80 million pieces per year.
In 1964, after Mr. Sullivan passed away, the family finally closed the factory door. The brand ownership changed hands a few times over the years, until Kurt Kendall, proprietor of Twins Smoke Shop in Londonderry, NH, took ownership. Kendall, who now operates three tobacco shops in the area, had a fascination for tobacco memorabilia, particularly that of the famous local brand and factory 7-20-4, collecting everything from ashtrays to signs, to eventually the trademark, giving him the right to produce and sell the cigar.
Once he settled on a Honduran factory in Danli called Tobacos de Oriente, which is owned and operated by Nestor Plasencia, Kendall says that he went to work developing the blend, formats, and packaging in order to “bring this great American cigar brand back to the shelves of American retailers.” In April 2009, the new 7-20-4 line was launched, and Kendall’s dream was finally realized. Available in five sizes, the cigars use filler tobaccos from Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, and Columbia. The binder is Costa Rican and the wrapper is Mata Fina from Brazil. The cigars range in price from $6.75 to $9 each and are wonderfully medium bodied with a full, rich flavor.
You can learn more about the 7-20-4 brand, as well as Kurt Kendall and Twins Smoke Shop by visiting www.twinssmokeshop.com or by calling 603.421.0242.