Saturday, October 16

Centennial stores that resist everything in Alicante



From the marriage between Vicente Pascual, who had an herbalist shop, and Dolores Velázquez, owner of a ceramic shop in Biar and Agost, a mixed business was born in 1893 that was in Castaños 47 and now in Alfonso el Sabio. 127 years have passed since the family’s first generation of merchants and the tradition continues thanks to Pepe Pascual, who studied Economics and took up the business. His father, Vicente Pascual, affirms that if his son did not like working in the store, it would have disappeared. Carrying trade in the genes is behind the survival of centennial stores, which have overcome wars and crises, and which have no secret other than specialization, good products, pampering the customer, keeping payments up to date and not getting into debt with the banks.

«The ceramics are bought by the tourist. Now there isn’t, but the herbalism branch works these days. We have 400 specialties ”, says Pascual, 48, ten in charge of a shop that appears in tourist guides and appeared on Japanese television.

Pepe Pascual, great-grandson of the founder, with his mother. | RAFA ARJONES


It has been 115 years since Vicente Benavent Moscardó opened his made-to-measure shirt shop on the Rambla. The family brand had six stores. In the 2008 crisis, they chose to keep only that of Doctor Gadea, run by the founder’s great-grandchildren, Carlos and Vicente. They face the covid crisis with cuts: ERTE of workforce, reduction of hours and previous appointment with clients who are afraid of the virus, for those who open after hours. They diversify with tailoring services and tailored shirts, jacket and tuxedo rentals. «The bases of a business are always the same. Customer service, good service and product. We have agreements with suppliers with whom we have worked for 40 years, they trust us to have responded in other crises ». The Benavent brothers’ mentality is one of survival: “this will pass,” they say.

The Navarro family also has commerce in their DNA since Rafael Navarro Alonso founded the firm in 1916. It passed from generation to generation with the first store on the Rambla and a later one in Castaños, which is the one that remains because the primitive premises so sold. The founder’s great-granddaughters, Carolina and Inmaculada, now run the business, inherited from their father, Francisco, who started jewelry at age 14. Carolina believes that “consistency is the key to last over time and, above all, the trust of our customers. I would highlight the founder Rafael Navarro and my father Paco, who have instilled in us their desire to work, to fight for our dreams and the love for jewelery and watches. Our uncle Rafael has also transmitted us the good work and philosophy of the art of jewelery ».

BENAVENT (1905) | RAFA ARJONES


Carlos and Vicente, great-grandchildren of Vicente Benavent. | RAFA ARJONES


NAVARRO JOYEROS BROTHERS (1916) | RAFA ARJONES


It has been 115 years since Vicente Benavent Moscardó opened his made-to-measure shirt shop on the Rambla. The family brand had six stores. In the crisis of 2008 they chose to keep only that of Doctor Gadea, which is run by the founder’s great-grandchildren, Carlos and Vicente. They face the covid crisis with cuts: ERTE of workforce, reduction of hours and previous appointment with clients who are afraid of the virus, for those who open after hours. They diversify with tailored tailoring and shirting services, jacket and tuxedo rental. «The bases of a business are always the same. Customer service, good service and product. We have agreements with suppliers with whom we have worked for 40 years, they trust us to have responded in other crises ». The Benavent brothers’ mentality is one of survival: “this will pass,” they say.

The Navarro family also has commerce in their DNA since Rafael Navarro Alonso founded the firm in 1916. It passed from generation to generation with the first store on the Rambla and a later one in Castaños, which is the one that remains because the primitive premises so sold. The founder’s great-granddaughters, Carolina and Inmaculada, now run the business, inherited from their father, Francisco, who started jewelry at age 14. Carolina believes that “consistency is the key to last over time and, above all, the trust of our customers. I would highlight the founder Rafael Navarro and my father Paco, who have instilled in us their desire to work, to fight for our dreams and the love for jewelery and watches. Our uncle Rafael has also transmitted us the good work and philosophy of the art of jewelery ».

Ferretería El Pozal dates from 1917. José Falcó Ortiz was the founder. His great-grandson Sergio Carbonell leads the trade. It is in the Santo Domingo neighborhood, in the old warehouse, where it was moved after the 1997 flood when the Manero Mollá building where they were collapsed. They managed to save the original counter. «My grandfather (a member of the losing side who could not put the store in his name because Franco would have confiscated it) taught me to live on resources, not on credits. I don’t buy more than I have to pay suppliers. There are days when 10 clients come and I don’t sell anything but I help them solve problems. Does it help? In the long run, yes. The proof is that we have been around for more than 100 years. They keep clients of the Esplanade 23 years after leaving the area.

Pedro Sirvent founded the jewelry store of the same name on Avenida de la Constitución in 1928, following the path of his father, who was a jeweler and had a workshop. «We have children and grandchildren of the first clients. They come to love them ”, say Pablo and María José, heirs of the founder. “We have dedicated our lives to the business because we are aware that we live from it. We make the make-up (jewelry arrangement) with the same interest as if we sold the biggest diamond in the store.

Other long-established businesses are Papelería Eutimio, which maintains the image of 1935, the year Eutimio Fernández Duque opened this business in López Torregrosa, now in the hands of his grandchildren; or Malluguiza, three generations of pharmacists and a pharmacy in Alfonso el Sabio (1956).


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