Not long ago, traditional soft-drinks were the favorite of many Valencian families, but now factories barely survive.
Only a few decades ago, in the Valencian Community there were dozens of artisanal soda factories in each region. Those were the days of wine and soda at the tables of the Valencian families, siphon and glass bottles with porcelain cap and flange. However, changes in consumer habits, the domain of the major brands of soft drinks and administrative and health requirements have influenced the gradual disappearance of these companies, the vast majority well-known to us.
One of the traditional brands that survives is La Flor del Xúquer, in the town of Xúquer Polinyà, with more than 50 years. Apart of La Flor, the company has another brand: La Sabrosa. What is more, It also manufactures for other brands which have stopped producing sodas, such as Dugarref, Algemesí, La Amistad and La Señera, which was one of their most popular brands that exists since the 40s.
Meanwhile, La Flor de Espadán, in Suera, Castellón, was until recently the other Valencian company that still manufactured lemonade (“llimonada” as it is usually called in Valencian), but it has finally stopped doing so. La Flor del Xúquer was the place where their bottles were produced. Part of the production process was still done by hand.
Another company that has also stopped working is Cervera, in Traiguera, in the Baix Maestrat. This is a family business, Mampel, which has now four employees. It was founded over more than fifty years ago and had its best moment “in the 60s and 70s,” according to the current owner, Juan Vicente Cervera Mampel. Today the company only dedicates to the distribution.
Cervera points out that the cause of the closure of many factories of “llimonades” is the progressive domain of La Casera, which has absorbed many brands, and in recent times, health and food requirements. This, at least, is what caused them to stop working more than four years ago: “It was a problem and a problem again and a lot of money was invested after all,” laments Cervera.
In Alicante the process was similar and iconic brands like Yola, in Alcoy, or La Flor de la Nucía are now just a memory and bottle collector’s item. This brand of La Nucia, which belongs to the Santamaría family, began delivering by motocarro and even by bicycle in 1958, but closed a few years ago with the retirement of the two brothers who run the company.