Bernat was the child of a confectioner family in the third generation and started his working life in his parents' cake shop. In the early 1950s he went to north Spain to revive a an apple jam factory. As he introduced later his idea of lollipops to the investors, they left. Bernat took over the company in 1958 and renamed it to Chupa Chups.
In the 1980s Bernat failed a take-over of the insurance company Iberia de Seguros to fund a new Catalan investment bank. Despite the loss, he gained ownership of Gaudi's Casa Batlló. In 1991 he passed formal control of Chupa Chups to his son Xavier. The Smint subsidiary brand/company was founded in 1994.
Together with his wife Nuria Serra he had three sons and two daughters, all surviving him.