Martínez Somalo was founded in 1901 by Don José Martínez Campo. Don José was part of a large family and several siblings were dedicated to the manufacturing and sale of meat products. At that time products derived from the pork raw material and Don José would trade them in his hometown and closest villages. The processing plant was called “La Gloria Riojana”.

La Gloria Riojana was at that time a small manufacturing plant located in Baños de Río Tobía (La Rioja), where the company is located at the moment.

The own characteristics of the Baños de Río Tobía village, at 600 meters above sea level, located in the valley of the river Najerilla and surrounded by mountains, allowed cold winters, hot summers and springs and mild autumns, which created the perfect microclimate that would favor the elaboration and drying of pork derived products.


The second generation, Don José Martínez Somalo, son of the founder, was incorporated to his father business at a young age. He started a first stage of modernization of the primitive processing plant, allocating several rooms to dry chorizos and some of them to salt hams. Still, at that moment, the drying process of sausages and hams was carried out following the seasons of the year.

His son, Don Lino Martínez Uruñuela, began to work at the family company in 1962. He is the only son that continues with the business.

During the joint management of Don José and Don Lino, the production processes are improved and the products are commercialized throughout Spain. The production and drying processes are automated and the first drying rooms with controlled temperature are built.

The third generation: don Lino takes over the company’s management, once his father retires in 1990. The company starts using the name of Hijo de José Martínez Somalo, S.L. honoring him. Under this management, the company adapts the facilities in order to meet the EU Regulations.

In 2007, due to production needs, new modern facilities are built, equipped with the latest technologies in the industry. A second production center is installed in a close industrial park in order to accommodate the whole ham process (MS2).

Fourth Generation: as a family company, Hijo de José Martínez Somalo, S.L., has experienced a model transition. Since May 2011, the company is being managed by the fourth family generation, Doña Elena, Don Juan José, Don José y Don Lino Miguel, maintaining the family spirit, but with the support of valuable and reliable professionals in management positions.

Martínez Somalo is a company committed to people, to the village, where it is located, Baños de Río Tobía and its region. A company characterized for its great respect to every employee, customers and suppliers. It is also a respected company, with social responsibility and aware that its obligation is to generate wealth and employment.