The history of BOJ and the wall mounted corkscrew is the story of a family of entrepreneurs from a small town in Spain called Eibar
Eibar is a city in northern Spain, very close to Bilbao, that has served as the stage for the birth and evolution of the BOJ brand. Historically, Eibar has stood out due to its artisans and industry, as well as due to its entrepreneurial spirit. Several centuries ago it was a town full of artisans.
The arrival of the industrial revolution made this small town and the entire surrounding area a very attractive place to work, which is why there’s been such an influx of people 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 a lot of hard work, many of these workshops became important industrial companies thanks to this frenetic activity.
BOJ, a labor of love
1905 saw the creation of BOJ, a family business that was originally focused on artisan embossing for wine related engravings and wine tools, especially corkscrews. Taking advantage of BOJ’s production abilities, other product lines were soon added, such as locks, razors, can-openers, and desktop items.
While BOJ has a large portfolio, their best-known products are their wall mounted corkscrews and commercial can openers. Many of the designs created throughout BOJ’s history have led to international patents stand to this day. During the last few decades of the twentieth century, with the second generation of the family running the company, BOJ took its place in the international market as a standard-setting brand for the manufacture of high quality products both in the wine tool industry as well as the household goods industry.
Their wall mounted corkscrew, sold all throughout the world, can be found in the design books of several museums and organizations.
Overcoming difficulties caused by flooding
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 bought and more people were hired so as to prevent the BOJ tradition from being lost. After two years of hard work, the founder’s grandson, Santiago Olaneta took control of BOJ.
Manufacture and design efforts focused mainly on the wall mounted corkscrews and the manual can openers.
Twenty-first century challenges for wine tools, especially wall-mounted corkscrews
BOJ heads into the future with renewed hope and faces new challenges and opportunities due to globalization. BOJ has incorporated new technologies into their production process which complement manual labor. The task of creating BOJ’s wall-mounted corkscrews is, at its core, an artisan one. They still pick out and monitor the wood in person.
BOJ has set up byBOJ.com and 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. They’ve 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.