Lifelong establishments Shopping as it was a hundred years ago
Front of the Fideueria La Confiança de Mataró. CC BY 3.0 - amadalvarez / Wikimedia Commons
Small businesses have a great importance for the economic and social fabric of Catalonia as they have traditionally been a unifying element in the everyday life of towns and cities. There are a good number of shops that retain their original look and which can be considered as heritage assets (for their historic and, often, artistic interest).
Of all the local establishments, those linked to food predominate, starting with restaurants, inns, hotels and eating houses. Although this has not always been explicitly recognised, to a large extent they are responsible for the survival of many traditional recipes. Forming part of this list are the 7 Portes, Can Culleretes, Pitarra and Can Lluís in Barcelona. The Fonda Europa (Granollers); the Tall de Conill (Capellades) and la Fitorra (Vilanova i la Geltrú), all have more than a 100 years of history.
To buy bread as it has always been in Barcelona, you can go to the Fleca Balmes or the Forn Mistral. A handful of bakeries faithful to the craft and tradition have been preserved in Catalonia such as the Forn Can Geroni (Vilanova del Vallès), the Soler (Vic), the Jaume Monell (Manresa), and Cal Pelegrí (Sant Pau d'Ordal). There are also quite a number of centuries-old patisseries such as the Boadella (Banyoles), the Ferrer (Olot), the Valero (Riba-roja d'Ebre, Móra d'Ebre), Can Tuyarro (Coloma de Farners) or Castelló (Girona), famous for their Miralls de Santa Clara (Mirrors of Santa Clara).
Other establishments linked to the Catalan commercial tradition are the colmados or grocery stores, also called colonials (colonials) or ultramarines (overseas) because they specialised in imported products. Not many have been preserved, but La Confiança, in Mataró, is one of the best appreciated. Designed by Puig i Cadafalch in 1894, it has kept its modernista decoration intact.
To this group must be added pharmacies (such as Franquesa, in Barcelona), grocers (such as Boter, in Badalona) and drapers (such as Sastreria Queralt, in Reus). And even chandlers, such as Subirà in Barcelona which dates back to 1761.