Makla, a neverending family story
The French department (administrative division) of Algeria was booming during the 19th century. In 1865, having returned from their travels where they had observed nicotiana, the Bentchikou brothers opened their family-run factory in Constantine. They developed the extremely fine slivers of tobacco leaf known as 'cheveu' (scaferlatti), as well as 'cigarettes'. One of the Bentchikou sons pioneered chewing tobacco which was originally known as 'Chemma', before taking the name that has forged its reputation for over 70 years: Makla.
In the 1963, Algeria become inspired by the nationalization policies that were spreading across the world, in French and the USSR in particular. Tobacco production and factories were nationalised and amalgamated within the Société Nationale des Tabacs et Allumettes (National Tobacco and Matches Company).
In 1979, having had the idea o few years previously to relocate production, Mr Madjid Bentchikou chose the town of Manage in the Wallonia region of Belgium to found SIFACO Benelux in partnership with Mr Henri Parisot.
Belgium therefore become the homeland for 150-year-old family venture, as well as the chosen location for producing Makla, Amin Bentchikou and Thierry Parisot are the present-day successors of this heritage and secular tradition.