Melanio Oliva first grew tobacco in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba in 1886. His growing operations were suspended while he fought in Cubas War of Independence. After returning from war Melanio resumed his operations. In the early 1920s Melanios son Hipolito Oliva took over the growing operations. Hipolito cultivated the Oliva family fields for several decades. As Cuba became over-run by communist the tobacco landscape changed. Hipolitos son Gilberto Oliva shifted from growing to brokering tobacco. In the early 60s the pressure became too great and Gilberto traveled from county to country in search of the distinct Cuban taste. His travels took him to Honduras, Panama, Mexico and even the Philippines. Gilberto finally found fertile ground in Nicaragua. Today Gilberto along with his family are Nicaraguas second largest grower of Cuban-seed tobacco.