From a Friendship to Business
After about a year, I managed to get the cabin up and running.
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 accepted (laughter). What is your biggest emotional experience from your professional careers? 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 might yield? 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 similar? 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.
Favorite book? 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). Favorite movie? 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) Favorite food? 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. POSITIV 2/2019 ǀ 37
POSITIV 2/2019 ǀ 38