Boveda started with a frustrated cigar lover who also happened to be a humidor maker. Keeping his cigars properly humidified was a tough, labor-intensive job. That labor didn’t always work out. It was the ’90s, and he was limited to distilled water and sponges or distilled water and shot glasses or foam and chemicals. (Some people still use those one-way humidifying methods. We don’t know why, but that’s another story.) So he called a guy to solve the problem. That guy was Dr. Albert Saari, a retired General Mills chemist. Saari found the answer in salt. Turns out, salts keep a fixed relative humidity (RH) level. Supersaturate those salts with pure water, and they humidify the surrounding air. So Saari called a guy he knew, Robert Esse, a General Mills packaging specialist.
Waterproof packages were no problem. Packages to let moisture pass in and out had never been done. So Esse found a material that had a high water-vapor transmission rate but stopped salt. Bingo! It was time to patent the packaging. (And patent it many times over around the world.) So, the humidor maker then called Sean Knutsen and Timothy Swail, two friends with business and marketing backgrounds, formed a new company to bring this simple yet remarkable invention to market. And in 1997, Boveda (then Humidipak) was born.
How does Boveda work? It’s all science. Mix certain salts with water, and together they naturally regulate humidity. Boveda’s patented packaging allows the cleanest, most purified water vapor to either be emitted or absorbed. Boveda acts on the environment around it. By adding and absorbing moisture, Boveda keeps the contents of a sealed container at a precise relative humidity (RH) level.