Vanessa Martinez is an entrepreneur who in times of crisis, like many others, has decided to carry out a project that “she had in mind” since long time ago: opening a winery and craft beer within the “small business” concept. This way she opened L’Antiga Carboneria, located in 19 Salvà Street in Poble Sec. But this place is not just a winery, but also intends to promote local culture. How to combine all of this? Vanessa explains it in this interview with ShBarcelona.
How came the idea to open this winery up and why the name L’Antiga Carboneria?
The idea of opening L’Antiga Carboneria came up from the need to bring back the small shops in Barcelona where the seller knows everyone and knows what they are going to ask before they go through the door. So I decided to bring to reality a project that had been years in my head, a winery to sell wine in bulk, because it is one of my great passions.
Why this name? Is a very simple answer: because my ancestors in the 40s were the owners of a Café-Theatre with a large wine cellar and they also owned a coal shop in Badalona and I wanted to find a way to continue with that tradition.
Who’s behind L’Antiga Carboneria and what is your background?
Behind this project it’s me, I’m Vanessa, someone eager to pull the business forward and try that L’Antiga Carboneria to be a meeting point for the neighbors as well, and also (why not?) to be a reference to what concerns wines.
I come from the world of art, specifically photography, that’s why is it so important for me to combine wine with various cultural activities.
In the cellar you can find high quality wines from small commercial productions, we focus on small winemakers as they are doing a great job but they have infrastructure problems to reach the people, and here is where we help them.
We also have bulk wines of great quality, craft beers and more, all can be bought at really affordable prices.
From L’Antiga Carboneria we also try to update the concept of the old wine cellars in bulk. The novelty lies in the quality we offer.
L’Antiga Carboneria has been open only a few months in Poble Sec, how was the people’s reaction?
I am very happy with the welcome we’ve had in the neighborhood. Little by little we are becoming a meeting point for them, neighbors who just said hello to each other before, now have befriended and that is very rewarding for me, they feel at home in L’Antiga Carbonería.
Besides selling wines and beers, this property also works as a book exchange library, as a place to held literary gatherings, a space for play rehearsals, among other things. How do you combine these activities?
L’Antiga Carboneria has always tried to combine the wine and the culture and we think it turned out being the perfect marriage!
It is very important to me that this is not just a place where to buy wine, but we love to interact with artists and actors from the neighborhood or local painters that give us their works to be exhibited in our walls. That is a great privilege for me.
What product we must try before leaving Carboneria L’Antiga?
Absolutely our wines and beers, and don’t forget our vermouth that has become the star of the winery as well (with the permission of our actors, of course!) We have customers coming from outside Barcelona once a week just to take some vermouth in here.
I am very satisfied with the products I’ve been bringing to my clients. I’m always looking for new quality products at an affordable price but sometimes is a difficult job to do. As far as I know, I’m doing a good job!
Can you anticipate something (event, new product, activity, etc.) in the future of L’Antiga Carboneria?
At this moment the winery is involved with the theater group “Mes enllà del Paral.lel” that on November the 8th will premiere the play they have been rehearsing in our winery and at early November we will have a free beer tasting.
Also every Thursday from 7pm we are helding an initiative of different bars and wineries in the neighborhood called “La Ruta del Poble sec” in which each place offer a “tapa” and a cup of wine at only 2euros. The money the places raise every first Thursday of each month it is donated to some neighborhood organization.