How it all began
The history of Kitl began in 2005. At that time, Jan Vokurka had an idea that gradually came into focus. He was thirty, and a successful brand manager in a large concern. Despite having a great career, he felt that something was missing. He thought long and hard about going into business. And he knew that if he didn’t try it now, he’d never do it at all.
That same year he went on holiday to Indonesia with his girlfriend. He searched for ideas and inspiration, and visited markets, stalls and alleys. However, he didn’t see anything that inspired him. In the end it was his girlfriend who introduced him to the idea of making drinks from herbs, and making use of regional recipes. At first he wasn’t convinced, but over the next few days, the idea grew on him, so much so that on the flight back from Indonesia he already knew where his business was going.
It took another two years for the first bottles of goodness to appear. First, Vokurka looked for suitable partners for his new-found business. He visited his former colleagues Jindřich Sobota and Roman Žďárský, whom he worked under at Soare Sekt (a large winery). He acquainted them with his plans and vision and they were fascinated by his ideas. Sobota and Žďárský were at that time looking for new directions in business. Vokurka’s idea came just at the right time. They all had considerable experience in the wine making industry, so they decided to make herbal wine with calming effects. The question was, how to make it without it being something very ordinary? Again, it was Vokurka’s girlfriend who inspired them. They experimented with countless recipes, and discussed the project again and again. Finally the decision was made: medicinal beverages.
Made well, and made by hand
First to be produced was Kitl Nightcap. During the first weekend of sales at a local farm, 100 bottles were sold. It looked promising!
Production was very modest in those early days – just a single room in Jablonec town centre and one part-time employee. In time the operation and product range grew. In addition to Red and White Kitl Nightcap, the range today includes the alcohol-free stimulative Kitl Energy Elixir, the medicinal Meducinka Syrup, Šumava Herbal Wine, Kitl Mead and Locksmith’s Salve. There are also a wide range of syrups – ginger, mint, elderflower, grapefruit, sour cherry, raspberry, blackcurrant, organic cucumber, orange and lemon – made mostly from organic produce. Our ginger is sourced from Indonesia, and our mint and elderflowers come from our own organic plantations.
We want to be efficient and so we use a range of machines in production. But we still rely on and value handmade production. Every product is hand checked by our employees. The woven squares on the Kitl Energy Elixir bottles are attached by hand. We also take great care with packaging. Our aim is to make packaging pleasant to look at and at the same time instructive for the customer. The personal touch lends all our products a unique character.