About us

About Republic Kolache

Republic Kolache is bringing the 'National Pastry of Texas' (aka the kolache) to DC!

Republic Kolache was founded in 2015 by Chris Svetlik along with fellow Texan expat Brian Stanford. After living in DC for a decade without access to good Texas-style kolaches, we set out to bring them to the District.

Starting from the old Svetlik family recipe, we've put a new spin on the traditional Czech-Texan flavors, as well as introduced some new creations that pay tribute to DC & the Mid-Atlantic (try the Half Smoke kolache, our ode to DC cuisine!).

Our fillings are all homemade, and we put special focus on sourcing fresh ingredients from suppliers who care about quality (such as 13th St. Meats, our provider for half smokes).

  • Kolaches & Topo Chico, that winning combo

  • Hungry kolache fans await our very first Kolache Saturday, Aug. 2015

  • Republic Kolache @ American Ice Co.

  • Republic Kolache @ Union Market

  • Outtakes from our Kickstarter video, May 2015

  • The King Cake Kolache, our guest chef collab with David Guas @ Bayou Bakery

  • The RK Liner Series, our tray liners commissioned by DC & Texan artists (now available framed!)

We launched in Aug. 2015 with an ongoing series of 'Kolache Saturdays' at our Republic Kolache @ American Ice Co. 'residency'. After sellout crowds confirmed that DC is indeed down with the kolache, we've since expanded to a retail outlet at Union Market in NE DC.

And a permanent brick & mortar Republic Kolache location is coming soon!

Some fun things we're up to

So what's a kolache?

The kolache is a Czech pastry with a cult following in Texas, consisting of a light, slightly sweet yeast dough filled with either savory or sweet ingredients (think cream cheese, poppyseed, or jalapeño sausage & cheese).

The kolache's history in the U.S. dates back to the 1840s, when large numbers of Moravian peasants emigrated to Texas, bringing with them their polka, their country-style sausages, and of course their kolaches.

Since then the kolache has captured the hearts (and stomachs) of Texans both Czech and non-Czech alike. In a Houston donut shop you're just as likely to find kolaches as you are donuts, and no Texas roadtrip is complete without a stop at one of the iconic kolache bakeries (invariably attached to a giant gas station convenience store, in uniquely Texan fashion) such as Czech Stop, Hruska's, and Weikel's.

Other fun kolache facts include:

  • In the 1950s McDonalds founder Ray Kroc (of proud Czech origin) tried to put kolaches on the McD's menu. Unfortunately he was ahead of his time, and they were a flop.
  • Kolaches hold a special place in Czech wedding rituals. Traditionally wedding invitations would be accompanied by a gift of three kolaches, and there are also reports of "kolache dowries" prepared by the bride's family back in the days of old.
  • Also, a vicious debate rages about whether the sausage kolache can rightfully be called a kolache (instead of its more traditional Czech name, the klobasnek). We'll answer to both, but despite our Czech bona fides we opt for the broader definition of a kolache that encompasses both sweet & savory fillings. (Also, klobasnek is kinda hard for the layperson to pronounce.)

A brief history of Republic Kolache

  • (The past)

    In the pre-RK era, Texan expats in DC cry out for kolaches...

    Article: CQ Rollcall
  • Jan. 6, 2015

    Republic Kolache announces its plans to bring Texas-style kolaches to DC!

    Clipping: Washington City Paper
  • Jan. 7, 2015

    One day later, Adam Rappoport (EIC, Bon Appetit) call kolaches the "next cronut". Coincidence??

    Video: TODAY Show
  • Jan. 22, 2015

    Our hometown magazine, Texas Monthly, picks up on the story. Hi, Mom!

    Clipping: Texas Monthly
  • Jan. 29, 2015

    We find out John Cornyn knows who we are

    Congressional briefing: Office of John Cornyn
  • May 4, 2015

    We announce a Kickstarter to help us cover startup costs. We eventually raise over $15,000 from nearly 300 hungry kolache fanatics

    Republic Kolache on Kickstarter
  • May 15, 2015

    We have the honor of treating Sec. Madeleine Albright (a fellow Czech) to kolaches on her birthday!

    Tweet: @Madeleine
  • June 5, 2015

    NPR affiliate WAMU asks whether DC is on the verge of a "kolache craze"

    Clipping: WAMU
  • Aug. 22 2015

    We launch our 'Republic Kolache @ American Ice Co.' residency to great public acclaim

    Clipping: Eater
  • Nov. 14 2015

    The first in our series of Guest Chef kolaches is introduced: the BRISKET KOLACHE (a partnership with Rob Sonderman @ DCity Smokehouse)

    Clipping: Eater
  • Jan. 28 2016

    We follow up the brisket with the King Cake Kolache, our Mardi Gras themed collaboration with David Guas @ Bayou Bakery. Lines ensue.

    Clipping: Washingtonian
  • Feb. 6 2016

    The Post spotlights the Saturday 'kolaches & coffee' ritual among some of our favorite customers

    Clipping: Washington Post
  • Feb. 13 2016

    We launch at Union Market!

    Clipping: Washington City Paper