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Photo by Lauren Reed
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Granja M. Viader
Hidden away among the quaintest backstreets off La Rambla, this granja is the oldest of its kind in Barcelona. The fourth-generation enterprise has come far from its humble beginnings as a late 19th-century milk shop and earrned itself a wealth of devoted customers. Milk and eggs are still brought from the family farm in Cardedeu to be turned into high-quality dairy produce. Home-made cheese, cream, sandwiches and a variety of puddings are all on offer, and if you've already tried their now famous Cacaolat chocolate milk, which the family invented, ask Mercè Viader to whip you up a Mallorquina (pictured), glass of sweetened milk with lemon zest and cinnamon, for a refreshing alternative. Xuclà 4-6 Metro: Liceu (L3) www.granjaviader.cat
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Founded in 1908, this Eixample bakery has been passed down through four generations of the Crespo family. Current owner Eduard Crespo was raised amidst the sacks of flour that his ancestors used to bake the award-winning artisan bread for which the panadería remains so popular today. Though the Crespos no longer live among the loaves of the Balmes bakery, as its founders did, Crespo still uses the same industrial oven to bake all produce, and has refined his grandparents' age-old recipes to provide over 300 unique panes. The shop itself has never been renovated, lending the interior a charming rusticity to rival that of its bread. Balmes 156 Metro: Diagonal (L3 & L5) www.flecabalmes.com
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Gràcia clothes shop Camiseria Pons has sold high-quality menswear and maintained its classic image during more than a century of evolving fashion trends. Current owner Isabel Estrany inherited the store, along with her grandfather's eye for design, in 1987, introducing female brands to what had previously been a male-dominated franchise. The camiseria is not only valued for its history and collection of both national and foreign designer brands, but is recognised for its superb customer service. Estrany prides herself on the personal retail experience that she offers and frequently invites her loyal clientele to join her for cups of tea in the courtyard. Gran de Gràcia 49 Metro: Fontana (L3) www.camiseriapons.com
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In 1911, Catalan craftsman Ramón Roca returned to Barcelona from overseas to open the Ganiveteria Roca, together with a bladesmithing workshop, in the city's Gothic quarter. Having learnt the knife trade alongside the most prestigious Parisian manufacturers, Roca then continued to sharpen his technique in Solingen (Germany), known as the 'city of blades' for the expertise of its swordsmiths. Back in Catalunya, Roca resolved to put his craft into practice and his cuchillería has held its place in the leafy Plaça del Pi ever since, where it is overlooked by the church of Santa Maria del Pi. A hundred years on, knives, razors, scalpels and scissors still gleam from the 17th-century façade, attracting dedicated clients and collectors from far and wide. Plaça del Pi 3 Metro: Liceu (L3) www.ganiveteriaroca.cat
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The grandchildren of locally celebrated confectioner Brunells have inherited the recipes for a range of delicious cakes, pastries and sweets as part of the legacy of this traditional patisserie in the Born. Using the original firewood oven, now a century old, to create delectable confectionary, Brunells' heirs have certainly followed in their forefathers' footsteps. The most popular delicacy is the hojaldre, a puff pastry made with flour produced at local mills, sweetened with sugar and topped with nuts. All products are freshly made on-site and can be savoured with a choice of drinks in the tearoom. Allow plenty of time for your visit, as you may find it hard to decide which sweet treat to indulge in first. Princesa 22 i Montcada 7 Metro: Jaume I (L4)
Barcelona is a wonderland of antiquity, where many of the Catalan businesses that sprouted at the turn of the 20th century have remained in place, despite the ever-changing face of city life.
This month, we delve into the past of five thriving family-owned enterprises—some of which have been around for as long as the city’s most eminent Modernista landmarks—to share the stories behind their heritage and uncover the local specialities they sell.
Click through to our slideshow to find out more.