Tom Streeter and Carla Gesell-Streeter are the co-owners of the Hoperatives beer blog and informational web site for beer & beer events in the Cincinnati area.
Imagine this scene that we’ve experienced many times over the last few months:
Us: We’re so excited that The Kolache Factory is coming back to Cincinnati!
Almost everyone else: What’s a kolache?
While traditionally a kolache is an Eastern European pastry with a fruit, poppy seed or cream cheese filling, in Texas (especially Houston), a kolache is so much more. Imagine a semi-sweet dough about the size of a small baseball filled with almost every type of breakfast, brunch or lunch offering you can think of.
In the 1970s, small mom & pop kolache bakeries started popping up in neighborhoods across Houston. Many of them struggled to survive and some did thrive to expand into small chains within Houston. According to their website, The Kolache Factory chain was founded in 1982 in Houston, Texas by co-founders John and Jerri Banks and were the first kolache bakery to expand outside of Houston. Though their current slogan is “A history of good taste,” their old slogan “A meal in hand” really describes the concept.
There are three basic types of kolaches. The traditional ones are almost small, flat bowls that hold a filling like fruit, poppy seed or cream cheese. Kolache Factory even carries a spinach version of these. The one pictured above is a chocolate cream cheese kolache. The round one is a Texas invention. The filling can be breakfast like (bacon, egg & cheese or sausage & gravy or sausage, jalapeño & cheese) or more like lunch (chicken enchilada or BBQ beef or pepperoni & mushroom). The long thin kolache (another Texas creation) is filled with a sausage link. You can choose from Polish mild, Polish hot or Texas hot.
This new Kolache Factory is in the Cherry Grove part of Cincinnati and is located at 440-D Ohio Pike. It’s in a small strip mall near the road and has a Chipotle to one side and a Smoothie King & a Skyline on the other side. Pull in next to Cherry Grove Plaza sign and come in along the side of the Skyline. They just opened on February 1st so they still have their temporary sign up.
We stopped in today about 9:30 a.m. and business was brisk. Many folks came in with the coupon from the Enquirer and there was mention of another coupon coming in ValPak. We were definitely the talk of the place since Tom is from Houston and we both already knew what kolaches were.
Manager Lynda and her staff are friendly and having fun telling Cincinnatians about kolaches. Apparently, there’s a possibility of two more in the Cincinnati area.