EL PROMOTOR: SALVADOR ANDREU I GRAU
In 1866 he opened the first modern pharmacy in Barcelona.
Salvador Andreu Grau (Barcelona, 1841- Barcelona, 1928). Entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry, property developer and philanthropist. Widely known as the inventor of the famous Doctor Andreu cough drops. He was married to Carmen Miralles Galup and they had six children.
As a Doctor of Pharmacy, in 1866 he opened the first modern pharmacy in Barcelona on Baixada de la Presó street in the heart of the Gothic district, featuring a completely innovative advertising concept for his products in the display windows of the pharmacy.
Dr. Andreu was a visionary of his time, adopting new sales and organisational techniques that turned his first pharmacy into a laboratory in 1868, where he began making his cough suppressant ointment and the most famous asthma and cough medicine: the Dr. Andreu cough drops.
The success of his pharmacy in the 1880s enabled him to move to a new location on Rambla de Sant Josep that was more modern and innovative, and he began exporting to the rest of the country and overseas thanks to his advanced advertising strategies. Years later, his reputation and the quality of his products earned him the nomination of honorary President of the Pharmaceutical Associations all over Spain.
By way of example, the following is a brief history of the laboratories from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries: (according to the historical archive of Doctor Andreu Laboratories):
1876: Launch of Nitrogenous Anti-asthma Papers and Balsamic Cigarettes, which are still sold today
1879: His cough suppressant ointment, Nitrogenous Anti-asthma Papers and Balsamic Cigarettes are sold in France, Italy and Portugal
1880: Overseas exports. Dr. Andreu cough drops successfully introduced in Argentina
1882: The pharmacy on Baixada de la Presó is too small to enable manufacturing of his pharmaceutical specialties and formulas, and Dr. Andreu opens a new location in Pla de la Boqueria
1898: Dr. Andreu products are sold in Lisbon, Manila, Havana, Lima, Puerto Rico and Buenos Aires
1900: Overseas manufacturing begins of his products, mainly in Buenos Aires
1910: Introduction of special machinery for the continuous production of his Nitrogenous Papers
1919: Inauguration of the initial stage of the new Barcelona laboratory in the Sant Gervasi district
1929: Exhibition of the Andreu Products and Specialities in the Chemistry Pavilion of the Barcelona International Exhibition
1936: First synthesis of sulphanilamide in the Andreu Laboratories. New Andreu laboratories opened in Mexico, followed by Chile, Peru and Uruguay
His descendants ran the family business until they sold the laboratories to the Cros (later Ercros) chemical company in 1987, who sold them a year later to Swiss group Hoffmann-La Roche.
But Salvador Andreu was also a businessman. As with other working members of the wealthy bourgeoisie, during the so-called Gold Rush (Febre d’or) of the Barcelona expansion, he too invested a part of his fortune in property development. From his participation in rebuilding the Liceu to buying buildings, Dr. Andreu accumulated over 100 properties and was President of the Homeowners Association of the Left Side of the Eixample.
But probably the most ambitious business in this sector came at the beginning of the 20th century when he joined the Arnús-Garí financial group (with Roman Macaya, Teodor Roviralta, Ròmul Bosch, Manuel Arnús, etc.) to set up the first property development company, El Tibidabo S.A., which since early on was responsible for urbanising the new neighbourhoods on the hillside of the mountain. Although the early works were located on the Tibidabo, access roads were also improved and the amusement park was built, in addition to several restaurants, hotels, banquet halls and exhibition halls. The ambitious project made the area one of the preferred destinations for entertainment and second residences for the Barcelona bourgeoisie. For this reason, several years later the city paid tribute to the architect by naming the Tibidabo Funicular square after him.