From diversification to specialization: the incursion of the Torrellas family in the cork business (1879-1923)


  • Joaquim Alvarado Costa Institut de Recerca Històrica-Universitat de Girona
  • Francisco Manuel Parejo Moruno Universidad de Extremadura


Cork, Cork industry, Torrellas, Catalonia, Extremadura


In this paper we analyze the role of the Torrellas family firm, originally from Tossa de Mar (Catalonia), in the cork business during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, as well as its adaptation strategies to the changing context of this business throughout those years. In 1879 the Torrellas family acquired a whole cork exploitation business, including a cork factory in Serrejón (Cáceres), they developed an intense commercial and industrial activity around southwestern Spain, becoming a reference company in the Spanish cork business, particularly as cork suppliers. We pay particular attention to the factors that led to the successful expansion of the Torrellas family business, as well as those that led to its bankruptcy in 1923, which ended the business venture of this family in the cork business.