Royal Dutch Elite slim cigars & the history of Ritmeester
RITMEESTER has a long tradition as an international manufacturer of cigars and cigarillos. In 1887 Jochem van Schuppen and Marinus van Schuppen founded their own cigar factory in Veenendaal, which in 1915 was renamed into RITMEESTER.
Jochem & Marinus were astute businessmen with an eye for quality and they soon discovered that tobacco was best cultivated in areas below the equator, with very high temperatures, high humidity and preferably on lava soil or fat clay soil. Lava soil is predominantly found in Indonesia, with clay soil common in Brazil, Cuba and the Caribbean.
In 1989 RITMEESTER Cigars became part of the DANNEMANN family and in 2007, after more than a century in Veenendaal, the division headquarters moved to its current location in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Today the offices house the leadership team, Sales & Marketing functions along with a range of other business support groups. To give you a sense of the company’s wider history please read below the original DANNEMANN story.
In 1872 Geraldo Dannemann settled in the small riverside town of São Félix, Bahia, surrounded by the Mata Fina region, even then famed for its exceptional dark fragrant tobaccos. Upon arrival in the town he built his first cigar factory (still in operation today) and began working with the local craftspeople rolling fine cigars.
Geraldo Dannemann understood that to create the finest cigars in the world he required the best tobacco and immediately began collaborating with the local farmers. This partnership continues to this day with over 200 family farms dating back generations supplementing our own 1,000-hectare Santo Antônio farm. A tradition of “seed to smoke“ creation that continues to this day.
In 1890 Geraldo Dannemann was elected Mayor of São Félix and became one of the most important industrialists in the region. A champion for the local community, he created the first town charter and oversaw the social and economic development of the Recôncavo area. His influence is still clearly visible today thanks to the municipal buildings he created and the bridge which spans the Rio Paraguaçu river connecting São Félix to its sister town of Cachoeira.