Hydraulic Cement Floor Tiles - Mosaicos Pino

CEMENT FLOOR TILEs - PART 5 - A family affair

by Fiona Flores Watson

Like any handmade product, these tiles are subject to small imperfections - which is part of their charm. Quality control is carried out by Antonio's cousin Jose, who checks every tile in each order to ensure it's up to scratch, while his father, also called Antonio, is retired but still comes by and casts a keen eye over batches, looking out for any little detail.

Antonio explains that producing these cement works of art is not enough on its own to sustain a business, so his shop in Palma del Condado also sells ceramic wall tiles and bathrooms. At the height of economic success, in the 1980s and 1990s, the company employed 16 people, always with some family - as well as Jose, Antonio's sister Monica works in the office doing sales and administration in the afternoons.

As Antonio doesn't have children, he's not sure what will happen to the family name (if the company passes to his sister's daughters, the second apellido of Pino will be lost when they have offspring of their own), an integral part of the company over four generations.

These days, the key to keeping any artisan business viable in a country beset with economic problems is to adapt to modern tastes, but without losing the fundamental values and quality of your product (this is slow design par excellence), as well as looking to extend your market where possible - Andalucian companies are always looking to boost their exports. As Mosaicos Pino is pursuing all those avenues, its future looks bright.