The origins of El Dorado Furniture date back to the 1920’s in the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio. There, a young man named Simon Capó made a living trading farm products and fixing furniture. Simon eventually cultivated his trade into a chain of furniture stores called “Casa Capó.” By 1950, Casa Capó was one of the largest furniture manufacturing and retail enterprises in Cuba. During this time, Simon’s youngest son, Manuel, married his wife Aida, and together they raised six sons.
In 1959, the Castro regime rose to power and confiscated all private enterprises, including Casa Capó. In 1966, Manuel Capó fled Cuba with two of his sons, Luis and Carlos, leaving behind the rest of his family in hopes of making a better life for them in America. The three men escaped the island on a small sailboat called “El Dorado.” After a treacherous journey, they arrived in Mexico and eventually made their way to the United States.
Once in the U.S., Manuel and his sons worked on what they knew best: furniture. On June 27th, 1967, just seven months after their arrival, the Capós opened their first furniture store on Miami’s Calle Ocho (Eighth Street), in the heart of Little Havana. They named the store after the boat they sailed to freedom: El Dorado. The small furniture store would soon flourish and take its first steps towards expansion, thanks to a $10,000 loan from the Small Business Administration.
In 1967, Manuel’s wife, Aida, and their three younger sons, Julio, Pedro, and Jesus, arrived in Miami and were reunited with their family. Dagoberto, the eldest son, reunited with the family in 1979, after years as a political prisoner in Cuba. The Capós’ seventh son, Roberto, was born in the United States.
More than 40 years later, Manuel Capó’s legacy lives on through his sons, who all make up the company’s Board of Directors. His grandchildren also help run the business and are integral to the organization and day-to-day workings of the company. These family ties ensure that El Dorado Furniture continues to uphold the values and ideals first exhibited by an ordinary man with an extraordinary vision.