The world-famous companies such as Baťa, Škoda, Kolben, Thonet, and Moser carry the names of their founders. Their success has been based on long-standing tradition and product quality. The Metelka Company follows the same patterns such as transferring knowledge, experience, craft, and fair approach to a customer from father to son.
The current CEO Milan Metelka is a representative of the third generation of the Moravian family from Vyškov that has been involved in the liqueur production, with forced breaks, for more than eighty years.
It began with Wolga, Režná, and Rosbašský liqueur
It all began in 1935, when then 32-year-old Antonín Metelka decided to extend the range of alcoholic beverages in his tavern. He wanted to serve his own beverages so he and his brother started to produce alcoholic beverages just for self-consumption. Their popularity increased and they began to distribute their liquors and liqueurs to all over the South Moravian Region.
A yearbook of a liqueur academy in 1946-1947 with Bohumil Metelka (marked red)
Tavern owners and merchants bought their favourite brands – Režná, rum, griotka, a herbal liqueur Praděd, a soft bitter liqueur Wolga, Rosbašský liqueur, or Liqueur de Chartreuse. The Metelka brothers also supplied them with their original products such as a special herbal liqueur Hubertus which was originally made for hunters. A current owner of the company has followed up on the popularity of Hubertus with his own liqueur Saint Hubert’s Liqueur at the end of the 90s.
Two totalitarian regimes cancelled the brand development
The spread of good reputation and high sales in 1940 was cut by World War II. Due to high consumption of alcohol for war purposes, alcohol allocations were introduced. Shortly after the war, a fresh graduate of the liqueur academy Bohumil Metelka tried to follow up on his father’s achievements. But the historical events and political situation didn’t allow him to fully develop the possibilities of the company. The Communist regime abolished all private businesses after 1948. The liquor industry was taken over by the state and private companies lost their licenses. After several years, the Metelka factory was completely in the rule of the state and later shut down. And Bohumil Metelka was marked as an ‘unwanted bourgeois youth’ and he was sent to serve as a soldier at the Auxiliary Technical Unit. He sacrificed three years of his life for freedom of thought. He was treated as a politically unsuitable, so he was ‘re-educated’ by hard labour in Ostrava’s coal mines.
From Moravské Prusy to markets abroad
The company could have been revived by Bohumil’s son Milan after 1989. Milan Metelka started to apply experience and knowledge which have been passed on over two generations in 1992, when he established a family business in Moravské Prusy near Vyškov. Despite the success of the company, Milan Metelka made a strategic decision in 2009. This commitment ensured the stability and development for the company’s future. It became a joint-stock company and the third share is owned by the world-famous company R. Jelinek Group SE. Metelka opened his own factory and laboratory in the premises of Rudolf Jelínek. The import and distribution agreement has significantly helped all Metelka’s products to gain popularity abroad. Since 2013, the Rudolf Jelínek Company has been distributing Metelka’s liqueurs and spirits on the domestic market. However, the Metelka Company maintains its family attribute. Not only is the company controlled by the Metelka family for two thirds, but Milan Metelka trains his own potential successor. Jan is his oldest son and he’s entrusted to be the Chief Operation Officer. The future of the family business of the Metelka Company could be secured for a long time.
1934 Antoním Metelka establishes a family Metelka company.
1940 The cancellation of production. Due to high consumption of alcohol for war purposes, alcohol allocations are introduced.
1946 The restoration of production. The company is run by Bohumil Metelka.
1948 The Communist coup leads to the cancellation of the Metelka Company. The liquor industry is taken over by the state, and private companies lose their licenses.
1950 Bohumil Metelka is labelled as an ‘unwanted bourgeois youth’ and is sent to serve as a soldier at the Auxiliary Technical Unit.
1991 Milan Metelka reopens the family business in Moravské Prusy.
2009 The Metelka Company becomes a joint-stock company and the third share is owned by the company of R. Jelinek Group SE.
2013 Rudolf Jelínek Company distributes Metelka’s liqueurs and spirits on the Czech market.
2015 The new production hall opens in the premises of Rudolf Jelínek in Vizovice.