The Kolache Shoppe plans to expand into the Houston Heights this summer, and I had the pleasure of having a breakfast chat with owner Randy Hines. We talked about how he mixed his business world experience with his long-time love for Kolaches, and turned that into a successful business. That all didn’t come overnight though, so read along as he shares his start.
The Hines ( Randy and his wife Lucy) look forward to keeping “the heart and soul” of the business as they expand into the Heights. “We just want to grown in a way where we make sure that the soul and the the heart remain the same”
B&C: So, How long have you been at this location?
Hines: “47 years. This location, my wife and I bought from the previous owner, who’s picture is right there [points to an article on the wall]. The Houston Post did an article on him back in the 80’s. He kind of started this back in the late ’60’s – 70’s.”
The previous owner had been approached by different people through the years, but he was very particular with his establishment. Once he’d gotten up in age, with no one to take it over, Randy Hines and his wife, Lucy Hines, scooped in.
Hines: “During that time I was living in Washington D.C, one of the things that I missed were Kolaches. This shop was my favorite place when I was in Houston. I remember getting to know him and asking him if he’d be able to teach me some of his dough recipes because I was thinking of opening a place in D.C.”
So that conversation soon led to the Hines owning The Kolache Shoppe.
B&C: So, how did you get started?
Hines: “I trained under the baker. I would occasionally come in before my day job at 5 in the morning, go back home at 7 and shower and get ready for my day job, from 8-5. We did that for a while, and fell off for a few years, but by April 2014, we bought it.”
B&C: What did the place look like, before?
Hines: “It was very straight out of the 1970’s. We hired a designer and had a display case locally designed, the distressed wood, panel and everything.
B&C: Were there any additions to the menu?
Hines: “The dough recipe is the same, with one minor change, we use 100% real butter. The product you see today is made the previous night.”
B&C: Any major changes coming soon?
Hines: “We’re going to be expanding to the heights, on heights and 11th. We’re going to increase some of the high quality things, reduce the variety. We’re going to try to partner with more local vendors as well, so we look forward to expand those avenues there. We’ll have an extended expresso operation and drive-thru as well.”
B&C: Will it be big enough to where it’s like a coffee shop, where people can hang out?
Hines: ” I would say yes. So this square footage is 750 total, so it’s tiny. That square footage will be 1200, but some of that will be used for the extended kitchen.”