Melanio Oliva first grew tobacco in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba in 1886. His growing operations were suspended while he fought in Cuba's War of Independence. After returning from the war, Melanio resumed his operations. In the early 1920's Melanio's son Hipolito Oliva took over the growing operations. Hipolito cultivated the Oliva family fields for several decades.
As Cuba became overrun by the Communists, the tobacco landscape changed. Hipolito's son Gilberto Oliva shifted from growing to brokering tobacco. In the early 60's when the pressure became too great, Gilberto left Cuba and travelled from country to country in search of soils that could produce that 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 Nicaragua's second largest grower of Cuban-seed tobacco.