Camprodon, our origins
– since 1893 –
Birba’s history dates back to the 19th century in Camprodon.
Camprodon is in the heart of the eastern Pyrenees in Girona province. Built around centuries-old traditions and surrounded by nature, it offers wonderful variety and contrast throughout the year.
In this town the Birba family ran a small grocery business. At the time Camprodon’s climate and scenery made it one of the favourite places for people, especially from Barcelona, to spend the summer. This meant the business thrived and specifically its fine sponge cakes and confectionery, which it had started making for its summer visitors and soon became famous due to their quality and taste.
However, sales fell off during the winter after the holidaymakers had gone, so in 1893 the family decided to make biscuits, which are not as perishable as cakes and could be distributed without any problems.
Demand continued to grow and biscuits began to stand out as what would become the business’s main product.
Later on one of the family’s sons, Llorenç Birba Cordomí, trained as a master pastry chef and achieved enormous success. The biscuits were handcrafted in a small workshop in the basement of the family home. They also had a warehouse and a packaging room.
The biscuits’ reputation grew due to the originality of their recipes and the high quality of their raw materials and demand for them began to increase throughout Catalonia. The brand became known as a byword for quality, flavour and naturalness with very natural products handcrafted with the finest local ingredients.
Demand continued to rise, the workshop became too small, and in 1929 the first Birba factory was built in the centre of Camprodon on Maristany Avenue. That same year the factory was awarded “The Grand Prix of the Barcelona International Exposition”.
During the Civil War the factory was damaged on several occasions and had to be rebuilt. It was a very difficult time due to the scarcity of raw materials and they even had to sow beetroot and wheat to get the sugar and flour needed to make the biscuits.
In 1961 Llorenç Birba Cordomí was awarded the Bronze Medal for Merit at Work for his effort and commitment.
Since then the company has gone through a number of stages until it reached its current owners, but it has always remained faithful to the family legacy, respecting its handcrafting processes and taking utmost care in the selection and quality of its ingredients.
The current factory was built in 2008 next to Camprodon and covers over 7,000 m2, but it still retains the original factory ovens that are in perfect working order.
Today Birba’s product range consists of a number of varieties, most of which it was already making when it started out in 1893.
Late 19th century
The Birba family opens a small shop selling all kinds of products in Camprodon in the heart of the eastern Pyrenees (Girona). Later on the business was enlarged with a confectioner’s which sold “puff pastry flatbread and cakes” to the numerous summer holidaymakers.
The family starts making handcrafted biscuits in a small workshop in the basement of the family home. They had a bottom-fired oven and some machinery together with a packaging room and a small warehouse. Soon they would begin to pack the biscuits in boxes.
Birba’s first factory is opened on Maristany Avenue in Camprodon. This year the company is also awarded “The Grand Prix of the Barcelona International Exposition”.
Following the Civil War the factory had to be rebuilt. It was a very difficult time due to the scarcity of raw materials. As a result of the enormous effort put into reconstruction, Llorenc Birba Cordomí was awarded the “Merit at Work” medal for his commitment and entrepreneurial spirit.
Galetes Camprodon changes hands and no longer belongs to the Birba family. Major investment in machinery was carried out to adapt to new market needs.
Major business expansion to address modern distribution. The variety of biscuits was extended with the launch of Nuria Whole Wheat, Nuria Mini Xoco and Birba Mini Assortment.
Opening and start-up of the new factory in Camprodon covering more than 7,000 m2 and tripling previous production. Machines and ovens from the first factory are still preserved.
The range available is further extended with the launch of Nuria Mediterranean and Nuria Gluten-free for coeliacs. In addition Mos is released in the Specialities range.
The company changes hands again when it is taken over by its current owners, a group of investors.
The commitment to growth is maintained with the launch of two new varieties: Tast, in the Specialities range, and Nuria 0% Sugar, in the Nuria range.