The South Tampa home of late cigar tycoon Robert Franzblau is now for sale | Tampa


A home built for a mail-order cigar pioneer is now on the market in South Tampa’s Culbreath Islands.

Located at 1102 Culbreath Isles Dr.the house was completed in 1972 for Robert Franzblau, who bought the Thompson Cigar Co. in 1960 and built it into one of the largest mail-order cigar companies in the United States.

Shortly after the purchase, the United States imposed the Cuban embargo, which prevented companies from importing Cuban cigars and tobacco. Franzblau, who was not a cigar smoker, moved the company’s cigar production to local Tampa factories like M&N Cigars and Gradiaz-Annis, which made cigars under the Thompson brand.

A decade later, Franzblau shifted the business to telephone and catalog sales, where it thrived until 2018, when Scandinavian Tobacco Group purchased Thompson and Co. for a reported fee. $62 million.

Although former Mayor Bob Buckhorn declared May 30, 2015 as “Thompson Cigar Company Day”, the company’s new owners closed the local factory outlet and distribution center, dismiss 112 employeesin a consolidation movement in 2019.

Franzblau died in September 2021 at the age of 93.

Now the house built by Mail Order Cigars is up for sale.

The 4,343-square-foot home features four bedrooms and four bathrooms, as well as 133 feet of canal frontage, a pool, an elevator, and very, very vintage furnishings that probably shouldn’t be changed at all.

In total, the Franzblau house is asking for $3.6 million and the listing agents are Jeramiah Bustin and Shane Vanderson of Engel & Volkers South Tampa.


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