boulevard/21-11-09_hem
 

A visit to HEM - Part 1

10.12.2021 // Finn Corvin Gallowsky

The Dramatic Theater is part of the Palace of Culture complex
The Dramatic Theater is part of the Palace of Culture complex

The poster look very inviting, if I had stayed longer I would certainly have attended a performance, even without any knowledge of the Polish language
The poster look very inviting, if I had stayed longer I would certainly have attended a performance, even without any knowledge of the Polish language

The next morning after breakfast, at 11 o'clock sharp, our chauffeur was already awaiting us in front of the hotel. The chauffeur in this case turned out to be company boss Marcin himself. After a joyful greeting and after having clarified a few minor organizational matters, he proclaims that he has managed to source Moonshine as a host gift for me. Samogon Podlaski Palony vodka comes from the Podlaskie voivodeship, the northeastern part of Poland, which is a region quite known for illicit distilleries. One of these distilleries, Samogon, has now obtained a concession and its Moonshine, the loose translation for illicit spirits, is now freely and legally available. The enthusiasm with which Marcin aims his praises of the high-proof spirit at me comes close to the larcenous pleasure with which he uses to talk about Ferrum products.

In a glass showcase are to be found a small ancestral gallery of front panel designs for various devices
In a glass showcase are to be found a small ancestral gallery of front panel designs for various devices

On the way to HEM's new location, we pass the old company headquarters at some distance out of town and head for the much more rural Pruszków. The production facilities are located on the first floor of a functional "factory hall" style building. The three letters H, E and M, unadornedly printed on an A4 paper sheet, mark the entrance. I cannot help feeling that this A4 sheet was hung there specifically for our visit. Inwardly I have to smile a little. I like this kind of understatement. On the upper floor, a long corridor stretches out, on the left side of which all the doors lead into the large, actual production room. The doors on the right side lead into the sales office, the office of the workshop management and the meeting room. In the latter, Magdalena Konarska, HEM's new marketing manager, and sales manager Dorota Wiejcka are awaiting us with cake and some beverages. The atmosphere is just as warm as I remember it from the last get-togethers with Marcin and his team. We start by chatting about potatoes, groats and the classic Polish daily routine, which includes two breakfasts in addition to an extended lunch and a light evening meal similar to the German "Abendbrot" (supper bread). Since the conversation already revolves around food, we thus agree on an appropriate time for our joint dinner, which, in contrast to the Polish norm, will certainly be more sumptuous today. At least that's what we were assuming at that point. Host gifts are quickly exchanged and I set off with Marcin for a round of introductions through his company.


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