They survived month by month
Like many of her colleagues in the industry, she only survived the loss of income thanks to financial reserves and the help of her family. Plus, and she’s proud of it, she didn’t have to cut staff and no one was even left alone.
“I have a great team here, very rock. That’s why I didn’t want to disappoint them. I tried not to let myself know that I was about to fall apart, that I was completely hell. When your sales are down to ten percent and you have to keep your business and especially your employees afloat, it’s a massacre. I was very nervous at the time… We lived month to month, to the At the beginning I largely subsidized the operation thanks to my savings and thanks to the support of my son”, says a woman who has worked in gastronomy for 23 years.
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Before renting Hájenka about 12 years ago, she operated a restaurant in the Hradiště part of Hradiště and a buffet in the parking lot near the road leading from Těrlicko to Třanovice.
The last two years have brought a lot to her company, to her employees, but also to her personally. And the coronavirus knocked it down. “It just came to our knowledge at that time. I was wrong, and the consequences of secrecy dragged me for a long time. But I say that if you want, you can overcome anything,” he says with determination.
People’s support was pleasantly surprised
But she also remembers the more pleasant times that kept her desperate at the time. For example, solidarity, when people supported pubs and restaurants. Either by coming to eat through the window, or by ordering a caterer for various private events. However, one incident will remain in his memory for a long time. That’s when a man walked in during the summer of 2020 and dropped a five hundred dollar bill on the bar saying, “Give it to the manager, because he’s having a hard time.” where to return.
“I know the story of the staff narration, I wasn’t there at the time. And if I was, I wouldn’t take the money. To this day, I don’t know who it was. was, no one has admitted it yet,” recalls Anna Blažková with a smile.
They didn’t rest long
What was a pleasant surprise for the owner of a business whose premises had previously been used for hunters (hence the name Hájenka – editor’s note) and long before that was an ordinary family home? How quickly, after all measures were relaxed and pubs reopened, customers returned.
“When we opened last summer, before closing again in October, we quickly caught up during the summer, so it was good, perfect. But at the cost of hard work,” recalls Anna Blažková.
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But then it came back: first the closures and the distribution counters, then only the vaccinated, and so on. We all know the story well. The Christmas holiday season also petered out, with people and businesses canceling the event en masse. That is why part of Hájenka’s staff moved to a nearby car factory, where Anna Blažková found them a job.
“I wanted to rest then and she closed the business. After a few days, however, they asked me to open before March, as I had originally planned,” says Anna Blažková.
Bet on stuffed potato pancakes
In the end, Hájenka opened on January 10 and, according to the manager, it paid off. Customers quickly found their way here. Among other things, for stuffed potato pancakes, for which Hájenka is famous. There are nearly forty on the menu. “When I started Hájenka, I thought about what to attract – pizza, pork knees or hamburgers were made almost everywhere, but no one had potato pancakes and none still haven’t. So I went,” he says.
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The fame of this local specialty has long since crossed the borders of the district and it is said that people from all over Moravia, but also from Poland or Slovakia, come here to satisfy the taste buds. The owner of Hájenka adds a story about how a Polish businessman liked this specialty and started coming here several times. And last summer he decided to take his friends with him.
“He called me that a busload of people came to us from Poland and they wanted some hash browns. They knew the dining room number, so they called on the way to see who had what a number. They came, ate and congratulated each other a lot, ”recalls Anna Blažková with a smile.
Although at a time when war is still raging in Eastern Europe, no one knows how high energy prices will rise and a wave of rising prices will wash over people, the owner du Těrlická Hájenka is optimistic after two strange years of covid. “Like I said, customers keep coming back to us, I’m delighted. Thank you to everyone who works here. We continued to encourage each other that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and looks up to us. And that’s how it is! I have a perfect team, they are hardworking, optimistic on top of that. I’m very happy for all of them,” adds restaurant and guesthouse owner Hájenka, adding that he is a fan of all the entrepreneurs, not just in gastronomy, who have persevered for two years, and they say they have their fingers crossed for those who have had to give up.