I have mentioned several times in previous issues of Vestec Gazette that Vestec was mainly an agricultural village. Industrial production penetrated these places more slowly and the first swallow was the steam dairy (no. 4), which was in operation at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. At that time it was far from widely competed. We could also find a number of craftsmen and small trades in the village, which, although not numerous, were sufficient to make the operators self-sufficient. Until 1948 the village had its blacksmith Jandečka, tailor and barber Müller in one person, seamstress Bartáková, shoemaker Jirák, carpenter Burša, stonemason Jirák.
There were also a few small shops with basic foodstuffs scattered around the village. Not all of them had a visible company sign, but what they could boast of was the complete trust of their fellow citizens. Today, I want to mention one Vestec trade that, even before the war, laid a solid foundation for a company that is now celebrating success not only on home soil, but also far and wide in the world. You will know that I am referring to the family company Jiva - Jirák. I do not want these lines to have an advertising touch. On the contrary, I want to tell you that this company actually continues the imaginary thread of the developing industry in Vestec, which was violently interrupted by the First World War.
The grandfather of the present owners was apprenticed to Kaliba. This company was one of the few in our country that focused on kitchen equipment. Later Václav Jirák (born in 1898) left the company and became independent. In 1935 he established his own business in his garage at home, where he focused on the production of confectionery ovens and tin and enamel stoves. After all, enamel stoves were a part of every household and many housewives could not afford their quality. Václav Jirák soon brought his son into the company and converted the garage into a smaller hall. It did not last long, however, as the country was again taken over by the war, and a few years after its end came nationalisation. For forty years the Komex company, which belonged to the state, operated here. The former owners could only look into the workshop. It was only after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 that the opportunity came to return to the original business, which Ladislav Jirák and his sons took up without much hesitation. Today, the fourth generation of the Jirák family has been producing stainless steel kitchens and their brilliance, which is combined with quality, shines especially in banks, hotels, airports and hospitals, but also in prisons. Their products are part of Michael Jackson's boat equipment, and you can even find the Jiva - Jirák brand in the remote oil fields of Russia.
Today, the grandfather - the founder - would probably wonder how big the company has grown and what changes it has seen. Today, the locksmith's work is done by laser and digitally controlled machines, but the company's philosophy, which emphasizes quality and speed of production, respectability and good reputation, is still valid today.
Elaborated by: Blanka Pašková, chronicler