Texas tradition

Kolaches meet your sweet or savory craving.

Driftwood is a new food startup business specializing in kolaches (pronounced ko-LAH-chees) and operating out of a commercial kitchen space in Grand Rapids. A kolache is a semi-sweet baked good that is made with a yeasty dough that is soft, airy and flavorful. They can be made with sweet or savory fillings, to satisfy any craving.

Kolaches originated from the current-day region of the Czech Republic and were traditionally served at weddings as a dessert. Kolaches made their way to the United States by way of Czech immigrants arriving in Texas starting in the late 1800s.

Kolaches are best fresh, but they may be reheated. Beyond flavor, they are extremely convenient to eat (think grab-n-go) and the broad array of flavors offered by Driftwood “allows a foodie to substitute any meal of the day with a couple kolaches.”

Baker and owner Noel Rydecki, who discovered kolaches while living in Texas, launched Driftwood after nearly six months of perfecting his kolache dough and filling recipes.

“I branded the business as Driftwood because it not only represents a part of my Michigan roots, but also the transformation we all experience as we navigate and live life,” Rydecki said.

Due to the pandemic, the business is using a “milestone” system for orders, which means a certain threshold of orders needs to be met before a bake is confirmed.

According to the website, this means, “We set a certain target of how many kolaches we want to bake for each milestone, announce the milestone on our website and social media platforms. Milestones are released a week in advance of the actual delivery date and customers may submit their orders directly on Driftwood’s website or Instagram (@driftwoodmich).

“If we reach our milestone target by the deadline, the kolache bake is on! If not, our dough doesn’t get all knotted up, we just plan for the next milestone bake date. Once a milestone bake target is achieved, we communicate the same with our followers and share estimated delivery times with the lucky customers.”

Driftwood announces its milestones every 2-3 weeks. Each milestone features a rotating variety of kolaches from its menu. Orders need to meet the minimum value of $20 and a nominal fee is added on for delivery to your doorstep.

This story can be found in the April 2021 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox each month, subscribe here

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