Ernesto Rodrigo Fraile sees himself more as a good friend than a ‘boss’. Despite that, no-one should be in any doubt that he likes to be in control of absolutely everything that relates to his butcher’s shop, meaning that he’s always on the ball. With the motto “reinvent yourself or die”, Ernesto runs Carnes Joaquín (the business founded by his parents in 1982) without the slightest fear of change.
How did Carnes Joaquín start?
Carnes Joaquín has always been a family business. The business was set up in 1982. We’ve always adhered closely to the idea of a family service, and we always remember the struggle we had back then.
How did you come to be the head of the company?
I always had the opportunity to study, but I preferred to start work. In time, the butcher’s shop stopped being a family business and, after my father retired, we brothers took on the role of partners, and it fell to me to become head of the company at a very young age: I’d have been about 26 or 27. I realised it meant that everything had changed. When you work as a family, each person takes charge of a particular thing, but when you become the person in charge, it becomes more complicated, however small the business may be. Thanks to my wife, who always supported me, and our ambition to move forward with what we had, we sought a new direction.
What form did this change of direction take?
With the arrival of the superstores, small companies like ours were being left behind, and we either had to reinvent ourselves or follow a route that, in my view, had no future. So we thought of another model that continued supplying our local, loyal customer base, while at the same time trying to attract another type of customer. But always having a clear idea of where we are. Knowing that we are, and always will be, a small company. But, as in any business, you have to reinvent yourself; if you stagnate, you tend to fade away.
“As in any business, you have to reinvent yourself; if you stagnate, you tend to fade away”
How many people work in the butcher’s shop?
There are seven of us, but we still see ourselves as a small business. I have one person in my team who has worked with me for 17 years, another who has been here for 6 years, two people in the office... Mi wife, Marian, works on the administration side, and we couldn’t do without her. She, apart from putting up with me (he laughs) has enabled me to delegate so that we can grow in another way. She supports me in everything, and I would never have got this far without her.
How would you describe the Carnes Joaquín team?
We’re friendly, grateful for what we have and, most importantly, we’re a little family. This is really what I have nurtured all my life, when I worked with my parents, with my brothers... I don’t work with them now, but I rely on a group of people who I consider to be part of my family. Over time, I have learnt that some aspects of the business have to be delegated, and that’s only possible if you trust your team.
What makes Carnes Joaquín stand out from the rest?
We are a small, local, family business, and we love to uphold tradition, to keep our long-standing customers, while also trying to be a little innovative. What was once a basic butcher’s shop has adapted to changing demand, but we have not lost our essence. We still offer the usual chorizo to go with some nice lentils, but we also stock several types of poultry, four types of lamb, a great range of cuts of meat... While we may not be able to compete with the prices charged by the superstores, we are certain that we sell a good product — and that’s what sets us apart and keeps us going. We want to stand out for our quality and our service, and we’re open to all kinds of suggestions.
“We sell a good product — and that’s what sets us apart and keeps us going”
You’re continuing with the cycle of reinvention, and recently you’ve started a home delivery service...
The health crisis has forced us to reinvent ourselves again, and we decided to launch this home delivery service, a direct and immediate service with online customer contact. We’ve taken an enormous amount of care over the packing stage, and the products are delivered very well presented and customised. We have catered for all kinds of payment methods, and the service has definitely been well received.
Calle del Mar 11. Santa Eulària
(+34) 971 330 819 / Delivery: (+34) 699 440 688 (Whatsapp)
[email protected] / www.carnesjoaquin.com