More than 1,200 entries were submitted and more than 1,000 votes cast, and now a Houston woman has been named the Gold Medal Winner in the Kolache Factory’s, nationwide 5th Annual “Create a New Kolache” contest.  Lynn Geren wins free breakfast for a year from the bakery-café chain that specializes in the savory and sweet Czech-inspired pastry that is filled with fruits, meats, and cheeses.  

Geren was chosen as one of five finalists in the summer foodie contest with her El Cubano entry. The classic sandwich gets a kolache twist as the semi-sweet dough is filled with pulled pork, Swiss cheese, smoked ham, pickles, and a bit of mustard and mayo. Fans then voted for their favorite flavor idea in an online contest and Geren was the top vote-getter! 

“I have loved Cuban sandwiches since I lived in Florida. When I moved to Houston and discovered kolaches and that sweet dough, I began dreaming about combining a Cuban sandwich and a kolache, so I entered the contest!” says Geren. “I am so thrilled my idea was chosen as the winner and I can’t wait to visit Kolache Factory every day, and I especially can’t wait to eat the El Cubano kolache when it hits the menu!”  

As the gold medal winner, Geren will receive free breakfast for a year and the El Cubano will be featured on the Kolache Factory menu as a Flavor of the Month in 2024! 

Here are the winning kolache entries: 

Gold Medal Winner: El CubanoLynn Geren, Houston, TX

  • Pulled pork, swiss cheese, smoked ham, pickles, and a bit of mustard and mayo brings the classic sandwich to a kolache. 


Silver Medal Winner: Pig & FigMary Morran, Houston, TX

  • Goat cheese, fig preserves, applewood smoked ham, and pearl onions. Tangy sweet and smoky kolache is your on-the-go charcuterie board. 


Bronze Medal Winner: Curry ChickenEmily Buxbaum, St. Louis, MO

  • Chicken, potatoes, and carrots simmered in a sweet and spicy coconut curry. 


“Every year I am blown away by all the great ideas our fans share with us, and this year was a really tight race since there were so many great recipes! But we are thrilled Lynn won with her El Cubano twist on our beloved Czech treat. We can’t wait to share this sweet and spicy kolache with our customers nationwide,” says Dawn Nielsen, COO of Kolache Factory. 

Kolache Factory has been making fresh kolaches for over 40 years and has 60 stores nationwide.  

Fast Casual, Marketing & Promotions, News, Kolache Factory