Jaume Forteza, from the Casa Capellana butcher’s: “We make traditional products using traditional methods and we only buy from local farmers”

This butcher’s is one of the emblematic establishments in Inca. Its owners highlight the quality of its products and its good service.

Casa Capellana is an emblematic shop in Inca that has managed to combine tradition with the demands of a 21st century shop. Its current owners, the third generation at the helm, maintain that the key to its long standing is “quality and good service”. Their firm belief in their values has led them to obtain UNE 175001 certification for service quality for small businesses, which shows the establishment’s commitment to continuous improvement.

This emblematic establishment dates back to 1920, although before that there were already relatives from the mother’s side of the family who were involved in the butchery trade. “The origin of this whole business was the sale of fresh meat started by our grandmother, but we have evidence that at least five generations before that, our family’s trades were related to butchery. In other words, my grandmother’s father, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother were already involved in butchering meat”, explains Jaume Forteza, the current owner together with his wife, Antonia Genestra, and his brother, Raimundo Forteza.

Typical Mallorcan slaughter products

The house’s speciality is the sale of fresh meat, as well as the artisan production of typical Mallorcan slaughter products: sobrassada, botifarrons, camaiots…

“We slaughter once a week. We only use animals raised by local farmers”. This last point is one of the things that makes the difference between the products of this local butcher’s shop and others sold by large supermarkets. “Many customers have realised that the meat we offer is of a higher quality than what can be found in the large supermarkets. It’s all meat after all, but if you can select and look at the origin, you end up eating healthier. Also, it’s more appetising when you put a steak from a traditional butcher’s shop in the pan, because it doesn’t foam up like other meat from the big supermarkets.  Many people tell us that they notice the difference in quality also in taste. In fact, many come to congratulate us after a barbecue because the meat we have sold them has gone down very well with their guests”, he points out.

Seasonal and locally sourced meat

The products that Casa Capellana offers throughout the year are conditioned by the season and Mallorcan culinary traditions. “For example, at Christmas time, porcella or stuffed soup are consumed, but we have also adapted to the novelties, and that is why we have incorporated new fillings. In Sant Antoni we sell botifarrons, sausages and all the meat that is usually used on the grills at that time of year. In general, in winter people buy a lot of meat for grilling. At Easter, the star is lamb, which is sold a lot for panades or fried meats.  People follow tradition and we notice this, which is why we sell the most typical products. For example, we still make authentic lamb’s blood to make greixonera de sang de me, which is something that is being lost. In summer it’s hotter and people eat more trempó and less meat, so the sale of grilled meats is going down”.

Jaume insists that all his suppliers are local. “We buy from Mallorcan farmers. In our butcher’s shop people always find traditional products and they can also order from us”.

Casa Capellana has a very varied clientele, including loyal buyers who pass on this custom from generation to generation to their relatives, occasional customers who come because of the good name that the family business has built up over the years, and even buyers from the mainland who are looking to buy typical Mallorcan products and come to Casa Capellana thanks to its website.

Dealing directly with the customers, the greatest satisfaction

Dealing with customers is one of the things Jaume likes most about his job: “I like the satisfaction of dealing directly with people, because they come in, they tell you their stories and in the end a relationship of trust and respect is built up, especially with our most loyal customers. We, for example, worry if we know that the mother of one of our clients is not well or we are happy if we know that someone in the family has had a baby”.

A way of life

Jaume recalls how, from a very young age, their lives revolved around the family business and how, when they were very young, they had to join the butcher’s shop. “As children, we always lived the atmosphere of the business because it always came first. It was common for them to tell us: ‘we can’t go (somewhere) today because we have a lot of work now’. Always, the first thing was to finish and fix all the pending jobs, before going out there. So, when you live that, you end up learning it. Then, we were very young when we started in the trade because my father died young and we had to start working to help my mother”.

Our interviewee adds: “this butcher’s shop, as well as being a source of income and livelihood, is our way of life. We have always moved around what this business has been, a business like ours conditions your life”.

An artisan butcher’s shop

Casa Capellana is part of the select group of artisan butcher’s shops that still exist in Inca. “It is not good news that local and traditional businesses are being lost”, says the owner, while he recalls the times of splendour of this type of business: “in the past, Inca did not have the number of large supermarkets and supermarkets that it has today. I understand that these establishments are part of modernity and respond to today’s lifestyle, but I remember that in Inca there were more than 30 butcher’s shops and all the neighbourhoods had their own shop where you could go to buy soup, sugar and all kinds of local products. And I remember that when I went to the slaughterhouse every butcher had his own stall. Back then, everything worked in a different way.

Maintaining a family business for such a long time means facing various crises, adapting to the times without losing its essence or character. Jaume and his family have understood this and that is why they know that quality has few competitors.

Emblematic Shops Emblematic Shops of the Balearic Islands is a recognition of these traditional shops that contribute to the uniqueness of urban spaces and, ultimately, of municipalities. This project, promoted by the Directorate General for Trade of the Government of the Balearic Islands and the Institute for Business Innovation (IDI), is a tool for the promotion of emblematic shops, whose identification and visibility favours the rest of the local commercial fabric.