Ross Hruska can be found at 3 a.m. baking dough and fillings in the kitchen of Hruska’s Kolaches on Center Street in Provo.
Hruska, who graduated with a finance degree in April, recently opened Hruska’s Kolaches after years of research, searching for a location and preparation. Hruska shares ownership of the business with his two siblings, Cory and Devin Hruska.
Cory Hruska, an advertising major at BYU, explained that he grew up eating kolaches in his home state, Texas. It is also part of his family’s heritage, who comes from the Czech Republic.
“It really has been a family ordeal,” Cory Hruska said. “Everyone in the family put in ideas of how they wanted the place to look; then we designed and built everything.”
Kolaches are a type of breakfast and lunch pastry, consisting of a filling surrounded in dough. Some of their most popular kolaches are filled with bacon, egg and cheese. Others contain fruit fillings, like peaches and cream.
It is easy to see the family dynamics in the shop.
“Working with family is cool, but hard at times,” Cory Hruska said. “We’ve grown together, and we are all very cooperative. I can treat my coworkers differently than I ever would because they are my siblings.”
Devin Hruska, who is a pre-business student at BYU, also spends a major portion of her time at the shop. During April, when all three students were juggling school, finals and the kolache shop, they had to rely on time management to deal with the stress. While Ross Hruska usually goes to the shop around 3 a.m., his siblings generally come in around 5 a.m.
For Devin Hruska, the customer relationships are one of the most meaningful parts of working in the restaurant business.
“My favorite part is that the customers trust us,” Devin Hruska said. “They can tell that we love this product. It is easy to sell something we love.”
Each day the shop offers 25–30 different kolache variations to try, where everything is made from scratch. The shop is open for breakfast and lunch, but the Hruskas also cater for large orders like weddings and business events.
The bakery is quickly gaining the attention of Provo locals. The city helped Hruska’s Kolaches get grant money to redesign the outside of the shop as part of a movement to revive downtown. The shop is also catching the attention of BYU students.
Susie Giron, an elementary education major from Hubbard, Oregon, has recently discovered Hruska’s Kolaches.
“I grew up eating kolaches, but I haven’t been able to find a place that sells them since I moved to Utah,” Giron said. “Their food is amazing; the raspberry ones are my favorite.”
When asked what advice Cory Hruska would give to other college students considering starting a business, he encouraged building a network of support.
“You can’t do it on your own; you need support to share the experience with and who will dedicate time to help you,” he said. “Just start and be patient; have a little faith.”
Both Cory and Devin Hruska credited Ross Hruska for much of the success of the shop. Ross, who opened the shop just weeks before his finals and graduation preparation, had to put more hours into it than anyone else.
“If there is anyone who should get credit it is Ross for his dedication in following his dreams,” Cory Hruska said.
The Hruska siblings hold weekly meetings where they try new things, discuss the business and brainstorm flavor combinations. Even with all of the stress of running a new business as full-time students, all three of the Hruska siblings love the bakery and love their kolaches.
“We really care about our product and about what customers want,” Devin said. “Building those relationships is great.”