“Food is not a toy!" Do you remember your mom telling you off at the dinner table when you were a child? And do you remember disagreeing with her, convinced that, in fact, food in an excellent toy? Well, if you still carry some inner wounds from that time of your life, we have some good news for you: there is somebody who was not afraid to make this unfulfilled child's dream come true and they are based in Prague, too!
Usito [read "oo-shi-to"] is a fun label run by two friends, Kateřina Holaskova and Veronika Holadova, who create food-themed hand-made toys and decorations from fabric. They met in college in the Moravian town of Zlin where they both studied arts. One day they were having a cup of coffee in one of Prague's cafes, when suddenly they got inspired by the poor little bored face of Katka's child... And that is how the idea of cloth pizzas and cakes was born; to make sure kids enjoy some quality coffee time, too! Yes, the Slivovitz plum brandy toy particularly makes you wonder who the stuff is REALLY designed for, but everyone who has ever been on our tour knows that… ehm… “cultural heritage” must be passed on to the next generation from early age!:-)
1) What do you love the most about Prague?
V: I'm a Prague native, so my relationship with the city is quite typical; I love the old center, all the sights, Petřín... What I love about Prague is all the possibilities. The fact that you get an idea and you can also go and make it happen. There are pubs, galleries, theatres... In the real life, nobody actually has the time for all these things, but it's the feeling that you simply CAN."
K: I'm quite the opposite: I was not born here, so even I've lived here for 10 years, I'm still getting to know the city... or actually, I don't know it at all! I haven't had time to walk it all around yet. But I love all the classy Czech pubs!"
2) Do you have any secret tip for a hang-out place in Prague?
V: You mean where we hang-out together with Katka? Definitely pubs! ;-) Well, I love walking so I have my own routes that I like. I start, for instance, in the Vinohrady district and go to the Lesser Town as I like passing trough the city center. Then Petřín and also Letná. This is where I live right now and I just feel like I can walk anywhere I like from there!"
K: This is sad as I don't actually have any secret tip and listening to you, Veronika, I have just realized how little I have walked trough Prague! This is also why I'm so glad when someone comes to visit, because that's my chance to get to see the city. I don't really feel any urge to go to the Charles Bridge, to be honest, actually, I avoid that, but just Iike Veronika, I do love the Lesser Town.
3) What does your ideal Saturday in Prague look like?
K: I go to see an exhibition when I have some free time. Veletrzni Palace or Rudolfinum Gallery are my favorites. I make plans only for myself and... don't really care about the kids now when I think of it! :-D But even with kids you can often go to a gallery as they usually have some activities for children too.
V: When I have some time off, I definitely don't go to the city center. :-) I prefer parks and a nice and calm walk like to the ZOO and back. Stromovka and Letna parks or even the green suburbs of Prague like Dablice or Cimice. No people, basically!:-)
5) You get the best coffee at...
K: I agree!
V: Oh, and a real heart-warmer is that little tiny place close to U.S. embassy... Kafirna is the name! It's a small family business with just two tables or so.
6) Where do you shop for toys when you don't make them yourself?
V: I must confess, I prefer to buy books over toys because, being from the "industry”, I'm a bit biased. I feel like there are toys everywhere, so I rather buy a book or a board game.
7) What are your favorite eating out places in Prague?
K: Recently, we started going to Wine & Food Market on Strakonicka street. That's not quite as Czech, sorry for that,:-) but it's guaranteed for quality! For the proper Czech classics it's definitely Lokal.
Where can you get Usito toys and decorations?