Since 1952, the Zapata family has stood for the art of making wooden furniture from a modest structure located on the PR-312 highway in Cabo Rojo named Comaco.
The space, founded by the Hilton brothers and Julio Zapata Perez, has managed over 70 years to establish itself among the best furniture manufacturers in the western region of the island. From there, custom pieces are created by hand and in wood, such as furniture, column beds, kitchens, wardrobes and armchairs, among others.
“We make our furniture to order. We have a catalog and many come from all over Puerto Rico and others from the United States. People who ask me for goods and it has been sent there. There are some Puerto Ricans who are there and buy a house here, then they buy furniture here and also build kitchens,” said Exxon Zapata Colado, owner of this unique company since 2002.
About a dozen men do the craft daily, testing their creativity and ability to innovate to please their customers. “They ask me for details on the type of mirrors with carvings, carvings, carved ornaments. Every customer is different. Here they make 1940s straw furniture, medallion style furniture, creole furniture, creole medallion furniture; Pillar beds, wardrobes, room sets, custom kitchen cabinets are made, but everything is to the taste of the client. We use woods like mahogany, cedar and cedar. They are like typical furniture, but according to the taste of the customer”, highlighted Zapata.
“The most they ask of me right now are the set of fourth pillars and the kitchen They have different prices as it depends on what the customer wants and what the size is. They are made to measure with compartments in mahogany that the customer can already carry with things for comfort, if he is going to take something”, he said.
One of the hand-crafted gems of these Cabroganos are the Medallion Room game with a straw in the middle; Some of these have reached government offices and even La Fortaleza, as Comaco caters to the demand for government suppliers in this market. “We make them in furniture stores and they put them up for sale,” Zapata said, noting that they also supply some of the businesses in the area.
The work that is done in Comaco is done by hand, without machinery; Along with the tools needed to cut the trunk or pieces of smooth wood and sandpaper to keep the piece as polished as possible. “Some people ask us for initials, flowers and even a nautical star, they asked us once,” said the owner.
Once inside the factory, among pieces of wood, sawdust and paint, we are puerto rico He spoke with Alberto Vargas, a cabinetmaker who has been in the space for 27 years and whose hands are responsible for most of the designs, which have been carved into each piece of wood to create the requested piece of furniture.
“The wood comes when I take the measurements of the furniture they requested; here the wood is cut rough and cut to length on this saw. Then you have to brush it straight. Then it’s cut on that table.” which is there (points). It straightens here again and then goes to another planter and straightens and then lowers it down. Then someone cuts it to length to tie up and make furniture After this process, this is where the lines and the details of the designs come in little by little”, explained the person who is also in charge of painting the pieces.
What do they do if a piece is damaged in one of these processes or the design they cut doesn’t fit the way they want? “You start again, at zero. The man who is there (pointing to the owner) checks every piece that leaves the area and everything should be as requested”, said the cabinet maker at the factory Responded focusing on quality control.
The factory is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm For additional information you can call (787) 851-1865.