The history of Antonio Esteban Villalobos and Natural Medicine was born from his family history, a history that began with his maternal grandfather and his father, continued by his six siblings, and now extended to his two sons.
His first memories of medicinal plants date back to his childhood. In the 1940s, his father, a court clerk, sat for a public entrance examination, being assigned to the north of Spain.
January was in full swing, and they experienced a heavy snowfall. Fun games in the snow caused Antonio to suffer from a severe cold. His father treated him with a herbal blend that helped him fight off his cold in just a few days.
This was Antonio Esteban´s first contact with medicinal plants, the first reason to start loving these healing plants.
Following memories of the history that engendered Soria Natural is that of a family house always crowded with friends, neighbors and acquaintances asking for plants to their father and grandfather for the treatment of different ailments.
Antonio was in charge of collect them and supply the family apothecary, since he knew each plant, admired them, carefully looked for and cultivated them and collected them.
His grandfather used them to make the mixtures of extracts to help remedy those ailments. Those first drops are the basis of the Composor range which, after more than thirty years of history, is today the reference product range of Soria Natural.
In the 80's, the oil crisis led to the closure of the factory in Soria where Antonio Esteban worked as an industrial expert, so he decided to start a new trip, which seemed uncertain.
In his suitcase he carried his father's advices, the help of his brothers, two sickles, his professional knowledge as a technical engineer, a very small warehouse and 300,000 pesetas he had borrowed. He also had a lot of enthusiasm, ambition and capacity for sacrifice.
Antonio Esteban created Soria Natural with all of this. He started mowing, harvesting medicinal plants, drying and processing them in a small warehouse. He was also in charge of visiting herbal shops all over Spain selling the product.
Antonio Esteban immediately realized that plant bagging was not the way to progress. His knowledge derived from his training as industrial expert allowed him to grow.
Without the financial means to buy the machinery he needed to industrialize a sector that was anchored in time, he designed the machines that he could not buy on the market.
In 1988, another milestone in the history of Soria Natural took place: the company was relocated to its current facilities, the same ones that had been previously housed by the automotive factory in which Antonio Esteban had worked some time before. Nowadays, the facilities are the nucleus of a state-of-the-art laboratory with more than 30.000 m2.
Once production was mechanized, Antonio Esteban´s next commitment was innovation. Researching and looking for new uses and properties of medicinal plants in order to eradicate the idea that phytotherapy was associated with ancient healers, linking it to scientific knowledge and research.
He combined two concepts: total quality and R&D&I, with the aim of revolutionizing the sector. That revolution continues today.