Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co. was established in 2012 by Oscar Valladares, Hector Valladares, and Bayron Duarte. Unlike many of today's most famed families of cigar crafters, the Valladares story is not steeped in Cuban heritage, nor is the company in its fourth, third, or even second generation. Instead, the company's patriarch was introduced to the industry while working for a Honduran travel agency, transporting tours of cigar enthusiasts to Rocky Patel's factory operation in Danlí. Valladares was later hired by Rocky Patel, going on to learn the craft while working with the company for the next nine years.
In 2011, Valladares left Rocky Patel, opening his own cigar shop in Danlí and employing a handful of rollers to offer fresh cigars. Shortly after, Bayron Duarte (a man with over 20 years experience in the industry, including General Cigar and Oliva) contacted Oscar to invest with him and his brother, Hector, in a small factory in downtown Danlí. This factory, named Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co., would produce all cigars for Oscar (as well as other contracted brands such as Island Jim) until 2014, where the company moved to a larger facility. This was followed by yet another move in 2016 (operating out of the former Oliva Factory), as the factory operation jumped from 20 workers to more than 100.
Oscar's cigars were introduced to cigar enthusiasts primarily through a collaborative effort with Jim “Island Jim” Robinson—the owner of a small tobacco and coffee shop in Pittsburgh called Leaf and Bean. Through a series of shop exclusive cigars with various boutique manufacturers, Jim began a series known as LEAF, where small artisans were highlighted by including their name in the cigar's title; in the case of Oscar, the cigars were known as LEAF by Oscar. This release has become one of the most talked-about presentations (at least in craft circles) in the industry, as the finished cigars are packaged in an additional tobacco leaf, replacing the customary cellophane used to protect the cigar's construction. LEAF by Oscar has since grown to include four blend variations and is now distributed across the world. Other popular releases from Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co. include The Oscar, Big Johnny, The Woody, and Oscar Valladares Ciserón Edition.