Francisco Grandella (A passionate businessman): The Story!
Francisco Grandella the Man
The title "Francisco Grandella love at first sight" could be the name of a movie, a book or any novel, where the protagonist would be one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Portugal and his overwhelmed passion would be our municipality, more specifically the village of Foz do Arelho.
Born in Aveiras de Cima, Azambuja, Francisco Grandella was born on July 23, 1853, son of Dr. Grandella and Matilde Libânia, with the entire Grandella clan being composed of four more sisters and three brothers.
Francisco Grandella - The Begining
His foray into the business world began early when, still studying, he was appointed by his father to go and replace his older brother, who was ill, at Rua dos Fanqueiros, in downtown Lisbon, as a clerk, an occupation he kept for three years, until returning to Aveiras de Cima and dedicating himself again to his studies.
Francisco Grandella would return to Lisbon in the 70s of the 19th century, again in the area of commerce to work some numbers below on the same Rua dos Fanqueiros in Baixa Pombalina and where he remained until the end of that decade, when he said goodbye.
In conversation with a friend, he was convinced to create his own business and shortly afterwards he was already distributing Grandella & Cia cards and advertising the opening on Rua das Prata das Fazendas Baratas.
Determined and convinced of his ideas and methods, he always defended the currency in a good way and continues. Later, after putting into practice some innovative measures in advertising, in the cashier operations themselves and even in their perspective of what would be the commercial space of a commercial establishment, he opened A Loja do Povo which followed New World at a time when he was looking for space for something of greater scope, contemplating in a single block a whole range of services and products within the same space, the Grandella Warehouses.
Francisco Grandella Warehouses Location
This reference space in the national commercial world was located at Rua do Ouro and was later expanded to have connection with Rua do Carmo in a building that was also in itself a monument of unparalleled grandeur and demonstrating the capacity of Francisco Grandella and the your business.
Practical and astute, he introduced details as great as a home delivery system as well as the distribution of catalogs, an audacity that brought him enormous return, as it allowed many to shop at Grandella's Department Stores without having to go there, without even having to visit. Lisbon.
The convenience with which the customer was presented pleased everyone and the country was gradually becoming Grandell, with publicity and references to Grandella and its warehouses all over the place.
Even Bordalo Pinheiro
"Our" Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro would dedicate a hymn to him in 1891 to be sung in chorus and where he praised Francisco Grandella and his work.
It can well be said that Grandella's innovative bets were her differentiation and confirmation of her vision and avant-garde… the saying goes that luck protects the daring… but it is no less true that luck is a lot of work ... would say Francisco Grandella.
The bonus of all this is that, increasing his empire, however much his professional life was surrounded by success, Francisco Grandella was never satisfied and always thought that for the good of his business, the good of all those with they worked.
Due to this altruistic and philanthropic stance, he would also remain in history as one of the most committed defenders of popular education, not only for the relatives of his employees, for whom he had created, for example, Bairro Grandella, in São Domingos de Benfica, but helping also the “mobile schools” that took instruction to parts of the country without schools, at a time when illiteracy rates were absolutely glaring!
Later, he even financed the construction of Schools, projects and enterprises that would be one of his greatest legacies in his connection to the municipality of Caldas da Rainha.
Francisco Grandella and his Uncontrollable passion for Caldas da Rainha and Foz do Arelho
Francisco Grandella started going to the thermal spa of Caldas, allegedly to recover from a fractured leg in the late 90s of the 19th century, having at that time met with Foz do Arelho and with which he fell in love… it would not have been first, not the only one, much less the last to whom Foz caused such a feeling ... we say!
His passion for Foz do Arelho was so overwhelming that he quickly became convinced to make investments, namely in the construction of his vacation home, the Grandella Palace (1898-1907), whose location offers one of the most beautiful views in Foz do Arelho. Today the Grandella Palace houses INATEL.
He promoted the place with photographs in the publications he edited (Passatempo and A Cidade e Campos), or investing directly in local development with the construction of some infrastructures such as schools, Bernardino Machado in Foz do Arelho (1910) and França Borges in Nadadouro (1912) and with the Casa do Povo in Foz do Arelho (1912), significant examples of their philanthropy.
He stood out as one of the greatest promoters of the locality and as one of the biggest patrons in the development of the locality, aiming to create a Venice in Foz, an ambition that did not materialize, but that was still representative of Francisco Grandella's ambitions for development the village. The main street in Foz do Arelho was named Rua Francisco Almeida Grandella and named after him.
Francisco Grandella works in Caldas da Rainha
As far as Caldas da Rainha is concerned, in addition to the social preponderance that someone with his status represented, he considered and even advertised in the local press the opening of a branch of the Grandella Grand Warehouses, a project that ended up not being concluded due to his ambition having been stopped with the opening of a branch of its competitors Armazéns do Chiado in Praça da República in 1914, in the building where today you find Banco Millennium BCP.
From a political point of view and in a period of regime change and in which republicanism had defeated the monarchy, Francisco Grandella participated actively as part of the Miguel Bombarda das Caldas da Rainha Republican Center, as President of the General Assembly, and his role should not be underestimated. proximity to the government.
It is true that from the point of view of the work done, Francisco Grandella did not have the same productivity with us as Rodrigo Berquó or Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro had, but it is no less true that the presence of someone with his importance did not leave anyone indifferent.
Our village in Foz do Arelho owes you a lot, he who was the first outsider to build a house in Foz do Arelho, the building being an icon of local heritage.