To count traditional and still functioning Czech brands with their famous products is quite easy. The Rudolf Jelínek Company would certainly be the first to come to your mind. The company that was established in 1894 is a synonym for quality alcoholic beverages in our homeland and abroad too. The company is historically connected with a Moravian town of Vizovice where a tradition of production of fruit spirits dates back to 1585. Despite this connection, the Rudolf Jelínek Company has subsidiaries far beyond the Czech borders. The group has its acquisitions in the United States, Russia, Chile, Bulgaria and Slovakia. Since 2009, the Metelka distillery has been a part of the large Jelínek business family. Miroslav Motyčka is the business and marketing director of the company and he confirms the co-operation with Milan Metelka has been successfully proved many times. The great example is the development of the Bohemia Honey liqueur.
Are you obliged as a business and marketing director to know all the beverages Rudolf Jelínek produces? How many of them have you tasted?
We offer about two hundred products but if we speak about them separately the number would be lower. There are about fifty products such as various fruit spirits, liqueurs, and other products of different brands, for example Milan Metelka. I’ve certainly tasted all of them, at least once. Moreover, I belong to a group of employees where it’s our duty and responsibility to test and evaluate our products.
Do you have a favourite product?
I like slivovitz in all its forms. This is certainly because I grew up in the South Moravian Region and I like slivovitz as such. I’m convinced that it’s a Czech national drink.
What kind of a beverage is inherently connected with the brand? Everybody knows your famous unusual bottle in which slivovitz has been sold for many years. It is still valid that slivovitz is Rudolf Jelínek’s flagship?
Our portfolio is wide for sure. Among the clear spirits, we have more than two dozen varieties of fruit liquor but slivovitz is still a leader. I believe that this will continue to do so. However, Hruškovice Williams is high in sales, almost in the half of the sales of slivovitz.
What is the workload of the business and marketing director? How big team of people you manage?
My job includes a complex business management and marketing activities in the Czech Republic. I work with a team of fifteen colleagues and I have five subordinates.
Which task you perform with joy and vice versa? Which activities you don’t like?
I’m very happy to work with my other colleagues to promote our brands in gastronomy. I see a huge opportunity in a section of fruit spirits in good restaurants and pubs. I think no one is surprised that I don’t like doing administrative work.
When did you hear the name Rudolf Jelínek for the first time?
I’m not sure about it. I think I acknowledged the brand for the first time in an advertising campaign for Plum Vodka in 2002 or 2003.
Did you get to the manager position right away?
Of course, I didn’t. I started as an assistant to the CEO ten years ago. And I appreciate it very much. I was able to get to know how the company works in all spheres. Then I became a business manager for the independent market in the Czech Republic and I was in charge of a team of sales representatives. Then I became the business and marketing director in 2012.
The Czech Republic methanol poisonings occurred in 2012 and negatively marked liquor business. How then prohibition affected your company? Is the outcome of this affair still visible?
Both prohibition and other legislative measures affected the entire production and distribution of liquors. Our company, as well as others, wasn’t able to sell any alcohol for almost a month, and later only upon a fulfilment of administrative constraints which heavily complicated liquor business. In addition, we expensively reconstructed the bottling section in 2012 and we had almost annual product quantity ‘in stock’. We had to mark all bottles with new stamps and costs were so much higher than if we had a standard stock supply of finished products. On the other hand, in 2012, we perceive this whole unfortunate case as an opportunity to heal the whole industry. Nowadays, we can say it really helped the industry.
The RUDOLF JELÍNEK Company tries to follow current trends and perceive customers’ taste preferences. A good example is the Bohemia Honey liqueur on which development Milan Metelka cooperated as well. Why did you turn to him?
I’m not the only one who considers Mr. Metelka to be one of the best liqueur experts in the Czech Republic. That’s why he participated in the development of Bohemia Honey. This liqueur combines traditional flavour of three-year-old white slivovitz, aroma of plums, and delicate taste and smell of linden honey which makes this liqueur one of the important foundation of our portfolio.
The Metelka Company has been a part of the R. JELÍNEK GROUP SE since 2009. In which way Metelka liqueurs complement portfolio of products of the RUDOLF JELÍNEK Company?
Our companies cooperate on a number of projects and our portfolios are connected with craftsmanship and quality. They don’t compete with each other at all, they complement themselves. For example, we successfully develop together the Moravský Vaječný brand which both in retail and gastronomy perfectly complements our offer, mostly consisting of fruit spirits.
Which one of Metelka beverages do you like most and why?
I don’t have a sweet tooth so I like the absinthes.