If you want to get breakfast kolache at the Spring Branch District’s newest shop offering them, you better be an early riser.
Get there too late, as this writer did, and you may find a “SOLD OUT” sign on the door of Kolache Kings, 1829 Bingle Rd. And it is a sad morning indeed when you’ve been looking forward to a kolach and can’t get one at your destination.
Owner Ken Brunecke credits the people of Spring Branch for the great level of sales.
“The Spring Branch community has really supported us in our first month in business,” Brunecke said.
Kolache are a ‘tricky’ product, Brunecke said.
“You don’t want to make too much because they don’t save well, so we donate or trash the leftovers. On the other hand, you don’t want to not make enough and be closed by 8:30 a.m. We are still working on our inventory daily to try to stay open until at least noon.”
The shop opens at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. on weekends.
Brunecke is the owner, while partners Graham Thompson, Sage Walker and Jay Davis have a minority interest. Not a franchise, this is the first location of Kolache Kings “at this time,” Brunecke said. The business took over a former Shipley Do-Nuts store.
Pre-pandemic, Kolache Kings was a catering-only business.
“Once people were not going to the office, that model didn’t work for us. We then put a hard pause on the concept. With new ownership, the decision was made to give it another go in early 2022. 1829 Bingle became available and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity,” Brunecke said.
Right next door, Brunecke runs a non-profit called Kidz Grub. Started eight years ago, the goal of Kidz Grub is to combat foot insecurity in the Houston area. The non-profit has 14 distribution points providing 800 to 900 free meals a day, Brunecke said.
While the location is perfect and business is brisk, the opening of Kolache Kings was not without its tribulations. Two days after opening, Brunecke and his staff came to work to find 2.5 inches of water covering the shop’s floor. There was a pinhole leak in one of the pipes.
“We just had to put our heads down and get to work. We are happy to say all is well now and look forward to dressing the place up,” Brunecke said.
Visitors to Kolache Kings will find a new mural in the shop, featuring the Kolache Kings logo and some of the owner’s favorite sports teams with the Houston Astros and their mascot, Orbit, most prominent.
Also featured on the mural are the Spring Branch District logo and some of the products featured in the kolache, including Bellville Meat Market sausage links and The Best Stop boudin.
Best sellers at Kolache Kings include double breakfast sausage, The Best Stop boudin, egg and cheese, and brisket.
Plans include kolache featuring some of the flavors of the Spring Branch District and something for veggie lovers, too, Brunecke said.
“We like to get creative, so you can expect to see Korean beef and egg, ranchero and spinach and artichoke on the menu soon.”
Better get there early, though.
1829 Bingle Rd.
Houston, TX 77055
— Dorothy Puch Lillig