The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show

March 2–4, 2025 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show
March 2—4 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

ATELIER Potten & Pannen – Staněk’s gia-winning store in Prague is in step with what the word Atelier suggests – a workshop or studio as used by an artist or designer. But it is so much more than this. It is a place where the bar on cooking, baking and dining is well and truly raised.

by Michelle Hespe

For more than three decades, Czech retailer and entrepreneur Pavel Stanek has been doing what he loves doing best – retailing in high-end kitchenware and creating amazing experiences and memories for his customers.

What makes this so special is that in turn, he has dedicated his life and work to provide space and products for his customers so that they can do what they love best – cook, bake, dine, socialize and create remarkable experiences and memories.

The original Potten & Pannen  Staněk store was established in central Prague as a leading, exclusive importer, distributor and direct seller of kitchenware and household brands. Fast forward to today and the brand has 13 bricks and mortar stores in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, three e-commerce stores and two renowned gourmet academy cooking schools.


Now the forward-thinking company also has a stunning flagship store – ATELIER – suitably housed in one of Prague’s cherished historic buildings. This remarkable store that seems more like a high-end gallery, became one of top five home and housewares retailers in the world at the 2024 Global Innovation Awards (gia) held by the International Housewares Association in Chicago.

“It’s an amazing recognition that belongs to everyone involved in this project,” said Pavel at the gia gala awards and dinner. “Atelier, in the Andaz hotel, is our biggest and most luxurious store yet, featuring exclusive brands and a selection of both Czech and international design not just for the kitchen.

“It’s a place where we tell a story about cooking and dining by appealing to all human senses. Succeeding in such a vast competition is proof to me that the hard work the entire team has put into Atelier has paid off,” he said.

The two-floor, 330 square-meter store was designed by renowned Czech designers from the Vrtiška & Žák studio, with the awe-inspiring centerpiece being a 15-metre long solid brass table where many of the store’s products are displayed. From the ground, punctuating the table’s surface, and carrying on up into the air and around the room, are trendils of copper rods punctuated by tiny LED lights that create a tangible sculpture representing aromas rising from a kitchen.

The gia expert jurors were blown away by the captivating sculpture, commenting that there has been “tremendous commitment to the centerpiece.” They said that “the central display drives the store traffic and the entire experience, with the sculptural, beautiful lines in the fixtures drawing the eye to the table.”

The many pieces of art that come together to create an imaginary kitchen include a sculpture of pots and pans by kitchenware brand Mauviel, that are assembled in waves, as though caught up in a silent dance through the air.


The entire store is softly lit to place the importance on the array of products, design and art works, such as the one-of-a-kind Liani glass chandelier designed by renowned Czech artist Maxim Velcovsky and produced by Lasvit.  

“We believe that once someone steps into the store, they will not want to leave,” says Pavel. “The space resembles a gallery where you can easily spend an entire afternoon.”

The gia judges commented that Atelier offers “drama at the highest level,” saying that the store is “simply outstanding – a textbook example of how to create a store experience that keeps people coming back. The store is breaking boundaries with displays that offer excitement and ‘wow’ moments.”

Technology plays an important role in the store’s success, but it does not take center stage. A digital touchscreen, free Wifi and iPads are available so that purchases can be made wherever a customer may be. This makes technology a handy facilitator for sales, while the products and the displays remain the stars of the show.  

The gia judges were in awe of Atelier as a destination and as an experience.

“When it comes to facilitating a perfect shopping experience, Atelier nails all important parameters,” they noted. “For example, there are iPads available in-store for product information and ideas, and the company uses personal emails for customer communications, further strengthening the feeling of luxury and exclusivity.”


Exclusivity has been a common thread in Pavel’s stores. Back in 2014, he and his team launched the world’s first and only KitchenAid concept store, and then released the same concept store in Slovakia later. In 2017, Pavel and his team received a gia award for the store, and the jury was impressed with the world-first innovation of merging a kitchenware store with a cooking school.

Staff have always been a pivotal element of the company’s success. Pavel said it back in 2017, and he feels exactly the same way now:

“Two of the most important factors in our business are our well-trained employees and their in-depth knowledge of our products,” says Pavel. “They serve each of our clients with a smile, armed with complimentary tea and coffee. There is regular specialized product training by brand managers and representatives from manufacturers, and often employees travel to the product manufacturers’ bases to learn about the product production process. It gives them more detail in terms of unique selling points.”

Despite the undeniably exquisite nature of Atelier, the grounding philosophy from when the first store opened, is still the core of the company’s approach to retailing.

“Our company is all about creating harmony between quality, design and excellent service,” says Pavel. “Since opening our doors in 1992, we have been enabling customers to elevate cooking, dining and everything related to a state-of-the-art-kitchen and experience.”


To learn more about Potten & Pannen – Staněk, visit

Sponsored and organized by The Inspired Home Show and the International Housewares Association (IHA), gia (IHA Global Innovation Awards) is the world’s leading awards program honoring overall excellence, business innovation and creative merchandising in homegoods retailing. For more information about the gia retail program, the co-sponsors or participating in 2024-2025, contact Piritta Törrö at [email protected]. Additional information on gia is also available online at


For more information about The Inspired Home Show and to pre-register for the 2025 Show, taking place in Chicago on 2-4 March 2025, please visit