A sudden night fire has devastated the factory and the facilities of the Cascajares company, in Dueñas (Palencia, 2,500 inhabitants). The fire, the causes of which are still being investigated, occurred when a shift of production employees was working inside the factory, which could have gone “okay”, according to company sources. From the company they affirm that “there is nothing left” and regret that “there is nothing left to sell or manufacture”. This food group is based in Palencia and in recent years has spread to Canada. Cascajares was doing some work to expand the factory given the good economic results and sales in recent months.
A worker from the entity, which employs more than 60 people at its headquarters in Dueñas and which generates a significant economic impact in the region because the raw material with which it works mostly comes from its surroundings, assures that “the factory has burned whole.” The president and founder of the company, Alfonso Jiménez, has declined to speak because he is “in shock” due to what happened, which entails losses of millions of euros even more at this time, when they were investing to improve and make the facilities bigger.
The company gained national and international relevance when it served part of the guests’ menu at the wedding of King Felipe VI and Letizia. The pandemic, which significantly reduced its activity due to the paralysis it caused in the hospitality industry, was falling behind and was returning to the numbers of 2019, when they billed almost 10 million euros in the year. The pandemic reduced the figure to 6.26 million between July 2020 and June 2021. The last few months have been intense for the company from Palencia, as a third of its annual turnover arrives at Christmas thanks to specialties such as capon, pork cheeks, beef and pork, suckling pig, stuffed turkey or pularda. Cascajares was founded in 1994 between Alfonso Jiménez and his friend Francisco Javier Iglesias with 160,000 pesetas (less than 1,000 euros). In its almost 30 years of operation it had become one of the most important gastronomy companies in Castilla y León.
“We have cried everything that we had to cry, now we are convinced that we are going to come out stronger and make a clean slate”, highlights the group worker, who is confident that the factory in Canada can continue to grow at a good pace and help to promote the necessary recovery. The flames began around half past three in the morning and the firefighters displaced from various bases in Palencia, whom the Cascajares employees have thanked for their efforts, have been unable to do more than contain their advance. The company is going to launch a statement this Thursday morning to report the facts and that they are going to “start from ¡Ya! a new Cascajares”.
THE COUNTRY of the morning
Wake up with the analysis of the day by Berna González Harbor
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