Old Arias Butter Factory
The countryside is usually considered as a complex entity where continuity far outweighs change. However, parallel to the changes experienced in the regional economic bases, the Asturian countryside has been evolving since the mid-19th century and thanks to its production, it has become part of the market economy. The milk, the apple and their respective derivatives will be crucial in this process.
The old factory called Hijos de Antonio Arias (Antonio Arias Sons’), founded in 1848-1849, which served as the foundation of the current Arias company, should be placed in this context. It is located in Corias de Pravia, on the former road route. This was not accidental, but intended by the founder to obtain a location advantage in the reception of raw materials and the dispatch of the final products. The plant prepared the butter that was purchased from the villagers in the nearby markets, selling it in fine tins under two brands: La Pastora and La Praviana. With the latter, they would diversify the business with the production of champagne cider, again using the drink produced by the farmers. They would develop this line with the purchase of El Pelayo factory in Infiesto and also thanks to the growth of La Praviana's foundational facilities. Shortly afterwards, the two heirs would divide the businesses between the Corias branch (Antonino Arias), and the Oviedo branch (Ángel Arias). The last one would be the branch to experience the greatest growth, even absorbing his brother's branch. Later on, an international financial group would acquire it in 1967, but maintained the Arias brand.
The Corias plant is made up of buildings from different periods and needs, but they maintain a great consistency. The materials, stone and brick, combine like the agri-food activity itself: the rural and the industrial, the solidity and versatility, the quality and the economy. This makes the plant a discreet but an excellent example within its sector. After decades of activity, the facilities were set up as a charming rural hotel.
Faustino Suárez Antuña