Semillas Fitó is a company that specializes in the breeding and sales of seeds. The company has passed through different stages and generations of the Fitó family throughout its 140-year history, enabling it to expand internationally while maintaining a close relationship with farmers.
If you have ever visited the Semillas Fitó offices on Carrer Selva de Mar, you will know that at the entrance there is an old wooden cabinet with several drawers for storing seeds. But do you know the story about where this piece of furniture was originally located?
To find out, we need move across to the Born neighborhood (Barcelona). The Born market came into operation at the end of the 19th century, primarily as a fish market. After 1921 its role changed and it became a central market for wholesale fruit and vegetables, in other words, an important meeting point for farmers.
In October 1944, Casimiro Fitó opened a store at number 8 Passeig del Born, a strategic location less than 300 m from the Born Market. The Semillas store served farmers who went to the market to sell vegetables. In the store, farmers could also buy other agricultural products such as fertilizers and plant protection agents.. Behind the counter of the store is where the wooden display cabinet was located.
In 1971, Mercabarna was opened in Barcelona’s free zone, as a result of which all of the activity was moved to this new market and the Born Market was closed. The Semillas Fitó store continued its activity until 2003, when it closed after almost 60 years, and all of its furniture was moved to the head office.
The filing cabinet has been a silent witness to the transformation over the years of the Semillas Fitó business from a family company into one of the world's leading seed breeding and production companies with a presence in more than 70 countries and a diversified business made up of 4 divisions.
The Born market building, after being closed for years and undergoing multiple renovations, has been turned into a municipal cultural space, while the old premises of the Semillas Fitó store are still open but used by a different sort of business. However, the facade continues to retain the characteristic features of the original store as it is part of the Barcelona architectural heritage protection plan.