The Story

The story began in a small Czech village, where a young boy, captivated by the beauty of nature, dreamed of adventures in faraway South Africa. He loved reading stories about explorers who discovered new lands and encountered exotic animals. These tales ignited his imagination and instilled in him a desire to explore the world beyond the horizon.

As Ivo grew older, he turned his attention to photography. It became his passion and a means to capture the beauty of nature and wild animals that fascinated him so much. He embarked on long journeys across African countries, photographing incredible landscapes, endangered species, and capturing the magic of the African wilderness.

The First box

His first trip to South Africa in 1998 marked the beginning of his business venture on the African continent. In his luggage, he carried the first box of Czech glass, which he wanted to offer as a unique, valuable, and previously unavailable item in South Africa. The glass was crafted with the precision and quality for which the Czech Republic was renowned, and Ivo’s vision was clear – to offer distinctive and high-quality products that would captivate customers.
He founded a company in Johannesburg specializing in import of handcrafted, machine-blown crystal glass, and other glass products.
Over time, the demand for his glassware grew, and Ivo started importing larger quantities of goods. He regularly travelled between Czechia and South Africa, which was challenging yet exhilarating. His business began to thrive, and he decided to settle in Cape Town, a strategic location for further business activities in the region.

The Company

He founded Crystal Direct Trading, and with determination and effort, he gradually expanded the product range and customer base. He collaborated with local wineries, restaurants, hotels, and catering companies, which appreciated the beautiful glassware to present their products and services. Ivo strived for his products to be perceived as something unique and special by both vendors and end customers. Thanks to the perseverance, dedication, and the honest work of the entire team, Crystal Direct grew into a respected company, employing over 50 specialized employees. The company now imports not only from his native Czechia but also from Slovakia, the USA, Belgium, Italy, Poland, France, Spain, Asia, and the Middle East. This enables the company to offer a wide range of glass products for various industries and end customers looking for unique and high-quality items for their homes.

The Coffee Shop

Nestled within the expansive mega store is a charming coffee shop Crystal Café that serves as a serene haven where patrons can unwind and savor the artistry of finely crafted coffees, expertly prepared by a dedicated barista – whose passion for both people and coffee shines through every cup.

More than just a coffee break, the Crystal Café offers a space for business rendezvous and heartwarming conversations with friends alike. It’s a place where the aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingles with the hum of connections being forged and stories being shared. Whether you’re sharing a laughter-filled conversation with old comrades or sealing a business deal with newfound allies, our café provides the backdrop for these memorable moments.

So, step into the Crystal Café shop within the megastore, let the aroma of freshly ground beans envelop you, and let the soothing environment embrace you. Absolutely, there is certainly an offer for those who are on the move. Grab your favorite blend, expertly brewed by our dedicated barista, and carry the essence of our café with you wherever you wander.

The fulfilled dream

Today, thanks to the diligent and honest work of its employees, who form one big family, Crystal Direct has become an integral part of Cape Town. It has branches in Johannesburg and representation in several SADC countries, serving as a supplier and beloved destination where visitors can admire and purchase glass treasures. At the headquarters and showroom in Strand, one can explore a wide selection of unique crystal glasses, glassware, cups, jugs, carafes, as well as decorative art pieces and gift items.

Through his courage, passion, and entrepreneurial spirit, Ivo Zrcek fulfilled his dream of living in South Africa. His passion for photography and love for African nature reflected in the assortment, where nature and animals held a significant place. Crystal Direct Trading supports the World Wildlife Fund for Nature – WWF. “The Crane Crystal range highlights various endangered species, and we hope to make a difference and create awareness of these land and sea creatures”, says Ivo. He helped discover the charm of crystal in South Africa, showed wineries how to pair glass and wine, and made quality glass accessible to everyday customers. His journey is a testament to how following one’s passions and dreams can lead to remarkable achievements and a life full of fulfilment and adventure.