Texas is known for many things. Cowboys (the ones with the hats), Cowboys (the ones with the footballs), and perhaps one of the most notable: exceptional barbecue, particularly brisket.
But there’s another Texas treasure that has been a staple in this land for almost two hundred years now.
I’m talking about the humble kolache, a wonderful gift from the Czech people who immigrated to the Lone Star state in the mid-1850s. They have intentionally preserved their culture and with their delectable baked goods proliferating throughout this region, our hearts are eternally grateful. That’s why when I found out one of these authentic Czech family-owned businesses was in the Frisco area and that they’d married two of the Texas giants—kolaches and barbecue—I got there quicker than a Chuck Norris punch.
When I first walked into Kolache Heaven, I smelled bread baking, the aromatic perfume of cinnamon and sweets, and the savory notes of sausage, jalapeno, and cheese. I was greeted by a woman with a beaming smile, who introduced herself as Natalie. Her daughter, who also works in the family business, smiled and waved from the kitchen window. Pointing to the box of bliss she had set aside for me, Natalie gestured for me to sit down and chat. She and her husband, Duane, decided to go into the Kolache business after Duane was facing job elimination. He knew he didn’t want to work for anyone again and so they set out to find a bakery that fit their requirements. It wasn’t long until they settled into Frisco, crafting high quality kolaches and baked goods.
So what is a Kolache? Apparently, due to mass marketing and certain well-meaning donut shops, we’re a little confused as to what an actual kolache is. It’s a point of frustration to Czechs, but Natalie kindly cleared up the discrepancy. She says, “A true kolache is a fruit and cream pastry”. That’s it. Nothing else. So those sausage and meat-stuffed buns are called just that: sausage rolls and meat buns. Pretty straightforward. When asked what their best selling products are, Natalie replied, “when it comes to the sausage rolls, mild with cheese … jalapeno and cheese. [In regard to the kolaches] cream cheese is always the most popular.” They also serve more traditional Czech fillings such as prune and poppyseed.
In addition to our familiar favorites, there is one meat bun that wins the popularity contest in this establishment. The barbecue smoked brisket and cheese. There’s a reason why Natalie had to set one of these bad boys aside for me. They sell out of them almost as fast as they can make them. A soft baked bun stuffed with hot, juicy brisket, nestled in pockets of gooey cheddar cheese: it’s obvious why it sells out quickly. Not only are they known for their scrumptious meat rolls, kolaches, cinnamon rolls and teacakes, Kolache Heaven also makes specialty pies upon request. During the holiday season, they crank out an enormous amount of pies in the most popular holiday flavors.
Both Duane and Natalie come from Czech families and are native Texans themselves. Natalie’s own grandmother also worked in a kolache bakery for the majority of her life—and nobody makes it better than grandma. The recipes are original and have been attracting customers for over 16 years now. These customers are near and dear to Natalie and her family. They have watched families start and children finish school.
They’re situated off of the street, not the kind of place you can find unless you’re looking for it. ”Really, truly, we would not be here…we wouldn’t have the success without God,” Natalie says. They credit every customer who notices them and drops in as a providential gift. I, for one, will be coming back.
Kolache Heaven | 3333 N. Preston Dr. #102, Frisco | kolacheheaven.com