Ortiz Canned Foods Company
The company Conservas Ortiz was founded in 1891 by Bernardo Ortiz de Zárate in Ondarroa. In the beginning, it was focused on the sale of anchovies and white tuna in brine in the areas bordering Castile. After the death of Bernardo Ortiz, the company was taken over by his wife, Petra López de Aréchaga, and finally became a public limited company in 1956.
In the 1930s, with the expansion of the business along the Cantabrian coast, Conservas Ortiz set up in Candás, where the canning industry was already deeply rooted. In this respect, it is worth noting that, as in other jobs linked to the sea, the work related to the canning factories was mainly carried out by women whose husbands or fathers were sailors.
With its arrival in Asturias, the canned food company erected an eye-catching building in a central square in the town, which would eventually become its most important production centre. The building was designed as a perfectly symmetrical structure, with a marked horizontality, and adapted to the unevenness of the exterior. In terms of its development, it is formed by a low central body flanked by two lateral structures roofed with mixed gables, which make it higher. The main entrance is formed by a small flat entrance above which the company's anagram, formed by the letters C and O, is placed. The aforementioned side gables have bas-relief representations of a pair of fish on a succession of waves, framed in a rectangular box.
In 2010, the factory suffered a serious collapse at the back, which accelerated the plans for its rehabilitation. It currently houses a cultural exhibition space and an assembly hall, although it is expected to become the headquarters of the Ecomuseo de la Conserva de Asturias in the near future.
Rubén Domínguez Rodríguez