From a Friendship to Business
After about a year, I managed to get the cabin up and
We met with long time friends Mr. Martin Kachel ( manager of the Oderberg Beer Spa) and Peter
Kaňok (owner of the Kanada cabin in Čeladná) at the hotel Pod Zeleným dubem to discuss the story
of their business and their plans for the future.
What were you doing before you began to mingle with
the business scene?
Martin: I went through a lot of different things. After
finishing my studies at the conservatory, I accepted a job at
the Jiří Myron theatre as a violinist in the orchestra. Towards
the end of my follow-up studies at Ostrava University,
I also got past an audition to the Janáček Philharmonic in
Ostrava, again as a violinist. After spending two years with
the orchestra, I wanted to go out and “explore the world.”
This led me to accept a job in Germany, though I was
mainly in Switzerland, in a beautiful spa city called Weggis
on the shore of Vierwaldstattersee Lake, for three seasons.
Afterwards, I returned to the Janáček philharmonic, where
I spent a total of twenty-five years. At the same time, I was,
and still am, a member of the Camerata Janáček chamber
orchestra, and I teach violin at the Edward Runda Art School
in Ostrava. Seven years ago, I founded the Oderberg
Quartett, which was originally created to accompany
Věra Špinárová at her concerts. Afterwards, however, we
expanded towards other projects and concerts as well. We
are still active to this day.
Peter: My story is a little more concise and simple. After
school, I started working at a high school in Ostrava
Vítkovice, where I spent five years teaching social sciences,
philosophy, psychology, sociology and mainly physical
education and sport. Then I joined the Laboratoires
Fournier pharmaceutical company, where I had lectures at
congresses, seminars and the like.
Martin: I would just like to interrupt Peter here for a second
to add, that for his first interview for the pharmaceutical
company, he borrowed my suit, and that’s why he got
What is your biggest emotional experience from your
Martin: Each concert is a big emotional experience, so
I think I’ve had a lot throughout my career. But if I were
to point out some particularly exciting ones, they would
probably have to be the concerts I played in Asia (Japan
and Taiwan) in 1997/8. The Janáček Philharmonic had
a couple of megaconcerts here, accompanying global
aces of the music scene--Palácio Domingo, José Carreras,
and Diana Ross. The main square of Taipei had probably
around 120,000 people listening. All of the concerts with
Věra Špinarová were thrilling as well; only she could fill the
stage with such energy.
Peter: I agree with Martin, at our age, we have lived
through our share of very emotional situations. From my
athletic career, for example, the athletic league with Táňa
Kocembová, Helena Fibingerová and Honza Železným,
or my recent meeting with my classmate, Dalibor Kupka,
who trained Roman Šebrlý and now the triple world
champion Pavel Maslák. My most emotional experience
in recent years was when I worked for an American
pharmaceutical company. I became the company’s best
employee in central Europe, and second in the world, and
thanks to that, I was able to travel around about half the
world. I travelled through the east and west coasts of USA,
a big portion of the Caribbean islands (Jamaica, Cayman
islands, and the Bahamas), Mexico, and others.
How did you get to your current job in business?
Martin: It was actually quite by chance; it’s, in some
way, connected with music, like almost everything
when it comes to me. It was in 2015, when the hotel
and restaurant Pod Zeleným dubem was just opening
in Bohumín, and the Camerata Janáček Orchestra was
invited to play at the opening ceremony. You could say
that it was was that officially “opened” the hotel for
business. Afterwards, we met with the lessors and talked
to them about business, and their plans for the future.
Throughout the conversation, they mentioned that they
intended at first to make the basement area into a fitness
center, but the atmosphere seemed much more fitting for
a beer spa. I fell in love with the space at first sight. Then
a couple things came together and the beer and music
spa of Oderberg became my main business venture.
So basically, music follows you everywhere, even to the
hotel and beer spa. We heard that you host concerts in
the hotel. Could you tell us more about that?
Martin: Yes, we have a beautiful, recently renovated
Art Nouveau hall here, which is perfect for hosting
big weddings, parties and even conferences. I also
immediately knew that this hall would require some
quality music, as well. In Bohumín, we founded the
Oderberg cultural association, which is focused mainly on
the organisation of concerts. All the concerts held here
are at a very professional level, which can be seen from
the positive feedback we have received. I believe that we
are enriching the cultural scene of this city through this.
Both of you have been friends for a long time. Do you
work together in terms of business?
Martin: Since we only joined this area of business
quite recently, we have only managed to agree to work
together in the future. Either way, we are making new
connections and thinking of ways to collaborate and
help each other.
Can you give us a hint as to what your collaboration
Peter: We definitely want to start in the area of catering.
Since there is no restaurant in my cabin, I would like to
use the services of the one in the hotel Pod Zeleným
dubem, as it’s really great. We plan to organize
weddings, parties, teambuilding, and such, all of which
would benefit from catering. I would also like to offer
groups staying for example, for a week ski stay, a visit
to the beer spa.
What do you think about what your friend has built?
Would you be interested in taking part in something
Martin: When I sit here and look at Peter right now,
I don’t think I would do it. You don’t know this, but he
sits here with two fingers that were almost cut off, and,
as a violin player, I just could not afford that, so when
it comes to construction and cutting wood, I would
definitely keep my distance. I would be willing to sit
by and respectfully contribute with some advice, but
I don’t think I should be allowed near a saw.
Peter: I really admire Martin for what he built here. If
I had some more courage and strength, then I would
do it, but I would be fully “tabula rasa.” I can’t even
begin to imagine how it all works, so I think, in the end,
we will both stick to what we have, and just try to help
each other out.
Martin: A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy
Toole), The Cyberiad (Stanisław Lem)
Peter: Everything about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
Also definitely Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of
Dreams--the unconscious, subconscious conscious,
and the Oedipus complex. From the more casual
literature for example, The Egyptian (Mika Waltari).
Martin: There are definitely many, Kouř (1991, musical /
comedy, CZ), The Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians
(1981, comedy, CS), and from the newer ones, Bobry
(2014, drama / mystery, PL)
Peter: Gladiator, Inglorious Basterds, Valkyrie (2008,
drama / thriller, USA)
Martin: Anything that my wife or the head chef in the
hotel Pod Teleným dubem, a real master of his craft,
Milan Dobřanský, make.
Peter: I’m not picky, I eat everything, but I love lamb.
Favorite area in the region?
Martin: Lately I really don’t have much time, so we
don’t spend much time out, therefore I’d say our
garden and pool.
Peter: Definitely the mountains. Lysá hora, Pustevny,
Radhošť, and even the Beskid Mountains in general.
What are some of your hobbies?
Martin: I think that I already mentioned enough
activities (laughter), so I am satisfied whenever I can
get some rest in. I love to relax, though I don’t have
much time for it.
Peter: Whatever followed me throughout my life, mainly
sports that is. I’m picking up the basics of golf, because
the biggest golf course in this country is only about
900 meters from the cabin.
Peter, we would like to ask how you got from teaching
and working at a pharmacy to building a beautiful cabin?
Peter: To be honest, there were a couple different
reasons. All my life, I have been doing different sports,
and loved the mountains, and so i planned to move into
the mountains in the future. After going through some
tough situations--getting fired at work and a break up--I
didn’t know what to do next, so I bought land at Čeladná,
and gained an opportunity to get back on my feet, and
fulfill my dream of building a cabin. Another big reason
was that there aren’t many places in the Beskid Mountains
where twenty or more people could stay in one place,
enjoying the mountains together, in a luxurious cabin.
How did the building process of the cabin go?
Peter: I began by getting a roundwood skeleton of the
cabin from the company “Sruby Pacák” in Čeladná. Then
I finished the rest, along with the company’s professional
help and advice, and the helping hand of some friends.
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POSITIV 2/2019 ǀ 38