L'Atelier Imports was founded by Pete Johnson (of Tatuaje Cigars fame) in 2012, initially being an entirely separate company from the California-based Tatuaje. Pete teamed with his brother and close friends to manage the brand, originally including core members Pete Johnson, K.C. Johnson (Pete's brother), Dan Welsh (originally known for New Havana Cigars), and Sean "Casper" Johnson (who is no longer involved with the company as of 2018).
The company's name is a French term that translates to "the workshop," with many of L'Atelier's cigars being themed around Pete Johnson's love of French wines. As with sister company Tatuaje, L'Atelier cigars are crafted by the García family, with all cigars being rolled at the My Father Cigars factory in Estelí. As an added feature to distinguish the brand from Pete's other projects, all L'Atelier cigars (outside of the Surrogates brand) include the unique Sancti Spíritus tobacco varietal; this leaf is a finicky hybrid (a combination of Criollo and Pelo de Oro) that is easily susceptible to disease but produces powerful results.