A line quickly forms at Koala Kolache most mornings as soon as the doors open at 5 a.m., but that does not stop owner Vatsana Souvannavong from greeting everyone individually.
“A first-time customer once came in and told me she felt like a VIP, and that’s what I want everyone to feel like,” she said. “I want to be the energy that customers need to wake up in the morning.”
Souvannavong and her husband, Peace Klam, opened Koala Kolache in May after working at Klam’s parents’ doughnut shop to learn the essentials of the food industry.
As a part of a yearlong learning experience, the couple visited Greater Houston area doughnut and kolache shops to discover what the market was lacking. With the recent opening of Koala Kolache, Souvannavong said she thinks she has Houston’s doughnut problem pegged.
“I’m from California and didn’t know much about kolaches, so I started trying all of them and realized it was this huge Texas thing,” she said. “They all taste the same, though.”
With this thought in mind, the couple set out to create more distinct flavors in each of their kolaches and confectionery creations.
The bakery sells a variety of kolaches with fillings that rotate daily to keep the menu constantly updated. Popular flavors include jalapeno popper, Philly cheesesteak and mashed potatoes.
Koala Kolache also sells sweet treats, including doughnuts and Koala Kakes. Essentially a combination of a doughnut and ice cream sandwich, the Koala Kake offers ice cream and toppings inserted between two freshly baked doughnut halves and then recooked, which helps keep the entire creation together.
Souvannavong said the Koala Kake has been the most popular menu item—even among customers coming in as early as 7 a.m.
“Of course you get kids requesting it that early,” she said. “A doughnut is a breakfast food, after all.”
17415 FM 529, Houston
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 5 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 6 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Mondays