Verdú Sirvent Nougat
More than a century of quality in artisan nougat
For more than 100 years we have been elaborating and manufacturing supreme quality nougat. Some of our most featured products are the Jijona Nougat and the Alicante Nougat which are artisan in our town named Jijona in the province of Alicante. Jijona lends its name to our nougat and its Designation of Original seal.
We also have other artisan nougat made in our bakery like coconut, egg yolk, artisan stoneground nougat and a long list of Christmas sweets with artisan seal. Know about our history. From the days our factory was founded until today.
More than 100 years making artisan nougat
A century of tradition bringing our artisan Jijona Nougat to the Christmas table of every family.
Juan Verdú Sirvent settled with his family in Figueres, the capital of Alt Empordà, after disembarking the train in which he carried the most appreciated nougat and Christmas sweets of Jijona, the cradle of nougat in Spain. Products elaborated with the head and the heart. with artisan recipes, which, after more than one hundred years, are still made with that recipe of the founder of the famous house of nougat in Figueres. He was called the nougat-maker, el turronero..
Year after year, the date with nougat and Christmas sweets is still set in the capital of Alt Empordà. Verdú Sirvent is now managed by the third and fourth generations of Jijona artisan nougat makers.
Juan’s brother, José, was single and together with his sister Palmira went for the first time to Figueres with wooden boxes full of nougat and other delicacies to be sold during the weeks prior to Christmas.
During this first experience selling the famous Jijona artisan nougat in Figueres José got sick. He had to ask for help to his other brother: Juan. Juan worked in the nougat company called La Industrial Turronera, present both in Jijona and in Barcelona. Juan at that time was focused on the production campaign for that Christmas season in Barcelona.
When he knew about the serious illness of his brother, he asked for permission to leave his company and to go to Figueres to help sell nougat. The nougat had been made in Jijona, and, for the first time, it was sold in Figueres. José died. And he was buried in Figueres instead of his beloved Jijona.
When the first Christmas campaign finished in Figueres, Juan went back to Jijona together with his sister Palmira and Jose’s business passed into his parents’ hands, Constantino and Trinidad. They decided to pass it into Juan and Maria’s hands. They are the maternal grandparents of the current owner María Dolores.
The sales started in a popular street in the capital of Alt Empordà, Figueres, called Rambla. The activity developed outdoors and soon after an establishment was rented in Sant Pau Street.
As in many other cases of artisan nougat producers all around Spain, and, in particular, all around Catalonia, the sales of sweets were carried out in a doorway. María Dolores’ grandparents lived close to Edison cinema, where they lived for two months a year until the Christmas season was over. They made a lot of friends in Figueres.
During autumn and the beginning of winter, grandpa Juan worked in the factory of Jijona called La Industrial Turronera. He combined this activity with the artisan production of typical sweets in a small establishment in the village of Jijona together with his wife María.
Those sweets, carefully packed in wooden boxes, were transported to Figueres by train although one year the shipment was made by boat from Alicante to Barcelona and finally taken to Figueres by ground transportation.
From 1917 to 1936, the year in which the Spanish Civil War was declared, Juan Verdú Sirvent’s family was loyal to the province of Alt Empordà. From 1937 on, the family stopped their activity in Figueres. When the war ended, the activity was retaken to the present.
Fortunately, the family had a good friendship with wealthy people in Figueres before the war. They got in contact with a grandmother’s friend, Mrs. Enriqueta, to ask her if they could use the same doorway in Sant Pau Street. In those years, the owners of the property had placed an iron door that prevented the activity of selling artisan nougat.
However, the good friend of the family, Enriqueta, told them in 1940, once the war was over, that she had found another adequate doorway in Monturiol Street. 1940, once the war was over, that she had found another adequate doorway in Monturiol Street. At the beginning, the family did not like the idea because it looked far from the centre of the village but they tried that Christmas. In number 6 Monturiol Street they put a 3 metre long table to sell nougat. Juan and María slept in a warehouse nearby.
Thanks to the intervention of Mr. Poch and Benjamín Castillo (who was the administrator of the property), the nougat producer family rented the doorway of the birth house of Salvador Dalí, the genius of surrealist paint and literature. Dalí’s father had his office as an accountant in the property in Figueres.
María Dolores’ grandparents, the current owner of the business, had three daughters: Dolores, Concha and Gloria. Before the war, the three of them accompanied their parents at the end of autumn when they went to Figueres. After the war, only Gloria kept going to Figueres. She got married to Antonio Soler in 1961. They had a daughter in 1962, Gloria. The current owner. Gloria, and her husband collaborated with the founders, Juan and María, who were working until they turned 80.
The business passed into the hands of Gloria and Antonio. He worked in Jijona during the whole year and he went to Figueres to spend Christmas with his wife and daughter.
Meanwhile, Antonio and Gloria’s daughter, María Dolores, got married to Alfonso Coloma. Alfonso was from Jijona and he made artisan icecream, the other commercial and economic pillar of Jijona. His father-in-law Antonio, nougat master in Jijona, taught him how to make Christmas sweets in 1984.
María Dolores and Alfonso are still loyal to spending the Christmas season in Figueres after making their artisan nougat and Christmas sweets. All the products are made with natural ingredients that the family searches and acquires with a base of quality almond, mainly Marcona variety, sugar and pure rosemary honey.
Juan Verdú Sirvent’s family increased the sales year after year when they built citizen loyalty, conscious of the quality of the authentic artisan Jijona Nougat. People from all the province met in the doorway of Salvador Dalí’s birth house, where they were for 60 years, the weeks before Christmas. During the postwar period, the business was gaining popularity, as it was the only shop selling artisan nougat from Jijona across the region.
After the sale of Salvador Dalí’s property to the Figueres Town Hall the family rented an establishment near Monturiol Street where it remains nowadays. There were a few years in which nougat and Christmas sweets were sold in both places simultaneously.
María Dolores manages the business with her husband Alfonso Coloma. Their two sons, David and Alfonso Coloma Soler also participate in the business. The family continues to fulfil the Christmas tradition with the citizens of Figueres, Alt Empordà region and all the provinces of Girona, including Barcelona. As well as many other clients from the South of France and the other side of the ocean like the USA, Canada and Argentina.
Our nougat from Jijona, in one of Salvador Dalí’s works
Salvador Dalí and his family loved sweets and nougat from Jijona. Specifically, as María Dolores recalls, Dalí’s favourite variety was the soft-textured Jijona Nougat with Designation of Origin. It is an authentic delicacy which is still elaborated in the boixets (mortars) and with first class ingredients (Marcona almond, rosemary honey, sugar and egg white).
Best-selling nougat from our beginning
We follow the same recipes that our grandfather made a century ago.
We use quality raw materials and ingredients grown in the Metirráneo area.
Designation of Original seal
We have nougats with the D.O. like our Nougat from Jijona and Nougat from Alicante.
We take care from the elaboration to the attention to our clients.
More than a century dedicated to
the passion of working for the sweet.