When Aliso Viejo resident Kathy Skaff decided to make her entry into the world of food, she went with something she knew and loved from growing up in Houston: kolaches (ko-la-chees). The single-serving-size Czechoslovakian pastries are a big deal in Texas and surrounding states, but little seen in California. Skaff’s own franchise of Kolache Factory, opening Tuesday in Tustin, aims to correct this. Her store is the first in California for the 46-store chain.
When I stopped into Tan Hoang Huong for banh mi Sunday, I noticed Skaff and staff hard at work in the not-yet-opened shop in the same center. A Kolache Factory corporate trainer was on site, demonstrating how to make the namesake buns. Kolaches, traditionally sweet buns made with yeasted dough, are generally topped with fruit or filled with poppy seeds, But Kolache Factory does savory as well. Take a look at the complete menu here. I saw a small mountain of gorgeous, soft dough being portioned into perfect, tennis-ball-sized pieces with a dough divider. Skaff told me everything’s made fresh in-store.
Another Texas import, free-trade small-batch roaster Katz Coffee, is part of the mix. There’s a full espresso bar installed at the Tustin bakery, still in component parts when I visited but undoubtedly up and running for Tuesday’s opening.
“Growing up in Texas, we didn’t have doughnuts,” Skaff says. “We had kolaches.” Now O.C. can, too.
Kolache Factory, 14091 Newport Ave., Tustin, 714-730-2253