Millicent May Smith was the daughter of a tobacco farmer, and they moved often throughout most of her early life. It is believed that she was born in Southern Virginia, but her family followed the trade down into Florida in the late 1800s. Her father may have even delved into the cattle business for awhile, working as a “whip cracker” to make ends meet.
The family came to settle in Key West and established one of the first major tobacco plantations and cigar companies in the area. During this time, Millicentʼs family began to employ many immigrant workers from Cuba. It was from their influence that Millicent became fond of flavors like lime and mint. Soon, she became known for her key-lime pies and mint-infused limeade.
Aunt Millie, as she was referred to by her employees, eventually took over her fatherʼs business. Somewhat unheard of at the time, her husband assumed the role of “face” of the organization, but everyone know that it was Millicent who called the shots. Many business deals were closed over a rum “Mojito,” made with Millicentʼs original lime and mint-infused elixir. After a time, these drinks became as well-known as the A.A. Smith Cigar Company itself.