Eibar, a city near Bilbao in northern Spain, is notable for its history of artisanship and industry, as well as its entrepreneurial spirit. Eibar has also seen the birth and evolution of the BOJ brand.
The arrival of the industrial revolution made Eibar surrounding area a very attractive place to work, causing an influx of laborers and families from the countryside. This led to the creation of an important network of small workshops in which entire families worked together. No place was off limits for the creation of a company, not even the lower floors of apartment buildings.
With the passage of time and perseverance, many of these workshops became important industrial companies thanks to this frenetic activity.
BOJ, a labor of love
1905 in Eibar saw the creation of BOJ: a family business originally focused on artisan embossing for wine-related engravings and wine tools, especially corkscrews. Taking advantage of production abilities, other product lines were soon added, such as locks, razors, can-openers, and desktop items.
While BOJ has a large portfolio, the best-known products are the wall-mounted corkscrews and commercial can openers. Many of the designs created throughout BOJ’s history have led to international patents which stand to this day. During the last few decades of the twentieth century, the second generation of the family was heading the company. Meanwhile, BOJ took its place in the international market as the standard-setting brand for the manufacture of high-quality products both in the wine tool industry as well as the household goods industry.
The wall-mounted corkscrews, sold all throughout the world, can be found in the design books of several museums and organizations.
1983 marked a turning point for the company. That year, Spain suffered the worst floods in its history due to constant torrential rain which caused massive mudslides. Due to this, some of BOJ’s facilities were buried in dirt from the surrounding mountains, which partially damaged the machinery used for BOJ’s wall-mounted corkscrews and other parts of the factory. Thankfully, there were no fatalities or serious personal injuries.
At that time, the CEO of the company, the son of the founder and father of the current CEO, decided that BOJ needed to recover from the unfortunate event and took action to overcome these new challenges. New machinery for wine tools and manual can openers was purchased and more people were hired to help preserve the BOJ tradition.
After two years of hard work, the founder’s grandson took control of BOJ. Manufacture and design efforts primarily focused on wall-mounted corkscrews and manual can openers.
BOJ heads into the future with renewed determination and hope in the face of new challenges and opportunities due to globalization. BOJ has incorporated updated technologies into the production process which complement manual labor. The task of creating BOJ’s wall-mounted corkscrews is, at its core, one of artisanship. BOJ still personally and meticulously selects and examines the wood used in the products.
BOJ has created new designs for wall-mounted corkscrews and manual can openers, such as the “110” line, in honor of the company’s 110th anniversary, and the “JFA” model, which carries the prestigious NSF certification. It has also incorporated new models of handheld corkscrews and other wine tools.
There’s no doubt about it, incorporating new trends and innovating has enabled BOJ to continue to be the standard for wine tools and household products. Wherever there is wine, we hope to see a BOJ wall-mounted corkscrew nearby.