Kolache Factory celebrates 40th anniversary

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 1:26 PM EDT
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POWDERSVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - “One bite and you’re ours because all you have to do is try one and you’ll go ‘where has this been my whole life?” said Dean Lord, Kolache Factory Franchisee.

For the past 40 years, Kolache Factory has introduced customers to baked pastries.

“In 1982 John Banks opened the first Kolache Factory with his family down in Houston,” Lord added. “They were working hard because Kolaches are really big down there.”

The restaurant’s popularity quickly exploded. Now more than 60 locations are open across nine states. In 2017, Lord opened the first and so far only Kolache Factory in the Carolinas, right here in the Upstate.

“It’s been amazing. I swear we just opened a week ago because those five years have gone by like that,” Lord added.

Doors open in Powdersville every day from 6am until 2pm with anywhere from 600 to 1300 Kolaches made in a day.

For those wondering what exactly a Kolache is--

“We use traditional Czech dough and we use really high-quality ingredients inside made fresh every day,” Lord explained. “It’s such a great combination. Every morning, we roll out by hand that dough. [For] fruit and cream cheese -- we open it up like a bowl, put that product in, proof and make them.”

Legend has it Kolaches all started with one Czechoslovakian family.

“A mother was baking some sweet bread and the daughter took some of the dough, rolled it out, put some prunes into it, and baked it,” Lord said. “Then the father came home. He saw it, took a bite, and was dancing in a circle--hence the wheel or kola which is wheel in Czech.”

Kolache Factory still has traditional flavors while also introducing some American favorites.

“Like Philly or Barbeque Brisket, Pulled Pork or Chicken Enchilada,” Lord mentioned. “We make each of those, hand-rolling them, filling them, proofing them, and baking them throughout the day.”

For those craving a home-cooked meal without all the prep and cleaning, Lord says Kolache Factory is the perfect solution. Recipes like Chicken Enchiladas are made with a whole lot of love over the course of several days.

“We take chicken breast meat, onion, green peppers, jalapeños, enchilada sauce and we marinate that for 48 hours,” Lord explained. “Then we pull it out, put it on the grill, and do a reduction. We will get your stuff to you very fast with a big smile on our face, but we are not a fast food restaurant.”

Introducing Carolinians to a new kind of meal, one Kolache at a time.

“We just try to give back, give great service, happiness, and kolaches,” Lord said.

The Kolache Factory in the Upstate was the Franchise of the year last year. They say their best seller is sausage and gravy.