DALLAS -- Hungry shoppers can look all over, but a new sweet spot in Dallas claims you’ll never find a better kolache.
“They’re the best kolaches on Earth,” one employee said. But the tasty treats are not what gets people in the door.
“Oh yeah, definitely,” said employee Ashley Causeway. ”You can’t really miss the lady on the corner swinging a towel with the kolache sign.”
Walk outside and you’ll hear the singing.
“Ohhh, Zamykal kolaches, they came from my grandmom,” sings owner Tara McGraw.
Tara sings and dances about kolaches partly to drum up business, but mostly because she feels called.
“What would mom do?” she asked. “She’d get out there, and she’d swing the towel.”
Tara’s mom, Jody Powers, was known as the "Crazy Kolache Lady." She was even featured on the show “Texas Country Reporter.”
Jody’s store, Zamykal Kolaches, was in the tiny town of Calvert, a place most people just drive right through. It wasn’t really a recipe for success.
So, to get drivers to stop and smell the kolache, she cooked up her song and dance.
For Jody, kolaches were her life. Her dream was to one day sell her kolaches in a big city like Dallas. It’s a dream she held tightly to even after she was diagnosed with cancer a few years back.
Jody lost her battle with cancer in 2015, but her dying wish was that her hard work would not be in vain and her bakery would live on. Unfortunately, Tara never learned how to make her mom’s kolaches and knew, by herself, she couldn’t make that wish come true.
The only person who knew the recipe lived 150 miles away in Calvert, her mom's twin sister, Jude Routhe.
“First thing I did was call her,” Tara said. “I laid it out there for her. Would you be interested in baking kolaches again? And she said ‘of course.’”
“I love my sister, and I want her dream to come to be,” Jude said. “And I’m gonna do all I can to make it happen.”
Jude moved to Dallas and over the past month, this sister and daughter have brought these kolaches back to life.
“It is love you can taste,” Jude said. The new Zamykal Kolaches are just like mom made ‘em.
They use the same recipe, have signs from the old store, and even hung the winning trophy from the only competition Jode ever entered.
But best of all, Tara is in a place she never thought she’d be: following her mom’s footsteps and keeping her dream alive.
“Everything happens for a reason and it all fell into place,” Tara said. “So, I know I’m on the right path and that this is my purpose.”
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