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From Design to Dough: Crafting DFW’s First Kolache Shoppe

restaurant design DFW Kolache Shoppe Celina Texas

Welcome to a mouth-watering journey that brings two of my favorite things together - carbohydrates and design. Today, we're revealing TLD's first-ever restaurant design for a delightful kolache franchise, The Kolache Shoppe, in Celina, Texas.


Honestly, every project we work on is special, but this was an extra treat as we got to partner with some of our dearest family friends and new entrepreneurs Courtney and Jake, plus Courtney’s parents, Cindy & Gary. Courtney's twin sister, Chelsea, also just happens to be a former client AND my current right hand gal at Team TLD for 2 years!

Truly, a family affair. Let's dive in!


THE STORY


Nestled in the heart of Celina, Texas, this new kolache spot marks the franchise's first foray into the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with three other locations warming hearts (and bellies) in Houston.


The challenge: create a space that was not only functional and durable for the anticipated crowds (table stakes) but also embodied a design that felt natural, modern, cozy, and above all welcoming, with a nod to Czech and Nordic culture and styles. The Kolache Shoppe has a gorgeous brand identity that we were thrilled to get to play with and build upon.


And, of course, a place where the kolaches could shine as the stars of the show. Because food.


restaurant design DFW Kolache Shoppe Celina Texas

Took all my self-restraint not to devour these during the shoot.


DESIGN ELEMENTS


With a well defined brand, you don't always have room to play. Both Rachel and I (Tara) have "designed" Starbucks shops in past lives, which sounds far more glamorous than it is and mostly involves just rubber stamping the same elements in slightly different floor plans. BORING.


The Kolache Shoppe owners, Randy and Lucy, gave us more creative freedoms. There were a few essentials we needed to be sure to include to maintain the brand's visual identity - like the iconic shuttered window from the logo - along with an overall color palette and patterns, but then they turned us loose to use them in fun, new ways.


restaurant design DFW Kolache Shoppe Celina Texas

THE PLAN


We focused on the Front of House (aka - customer facing side) and left the kitchen design to the experts. First order of business - have the first view into the shop be of "the goods".


The central feature, a custom floor mural made of individual hexagon tiles that I may or may not have gone cross-eyed and lost brain cells over, directs patrons' gazes straight to the heart of the experience: the kolache case, brimming with freshly baked goodness.


restaurant design DFW Kolache Shoppe Celina Texas floor mural

One new feature that we were pumped (aka borderline pushy) about - including a banquette seating area. None of the other Shoppes include this kind of seating, but we expected that in this location, people would enjoy being able to have their kolaches and food to stay.


Spoiler - we were right!


Initially, we toyed with a playful blue buffalo plaid print for the banquet cushions, but we wanted to avoid the association with a farmhouse aesthetic. Then it hit us - pull the Czech inspired pattern from the Kolache Boxes that the food is served in and apply it to a textile, resulting in what became the pièce de résistance of the space: the banquette.


Reeded paneling and warm wood give additional visual interest to this area. The warm wood was key to making sure the blue and white color palette didn't begin to feel cold (because cold does not equal warm and welcoming!).


restaurant design DFW Kolache Shoppe Celina Texas reeded paneling war wood blue white banquette

Oh my cute!


Another fun feature that we dreamed up from the get-go: a bespoke kolache wall mural. We created some initial concepts and then handed it over to local mural artist, ColorHype Murals, to bring to life. This has become quite the Instagram selfie backdrop, great for marketing for the new shop.


restaurant design DFW Kolache Shoppe Celina Texas wall mural

The shop's layout, with an open center for queueing and seating to the side, ensures smooth flow and a comfortable experience for patrons. Because, let me tell you, around 9 AM on Saturdays this space is FULL of people waiting for baked goodies.


restaurant design DFW Kolache Shoppe Celina Texas queueing seating

A couple of other favorite features - the mega-scale wallcovering with another version of the blue-and-white Czech pattern at the ceiling, along with the bright splash of color at the HVAC supply vents. If you're going to have a vent (and in Texas, clearly, that is non-negotiable) why not make it something worth looking at?!?


We were grateful our clients trusted us with that one! A bold choice, we know!


restaurant design DFW Kolache Shoppe Celina Texas

I had a slight panicked moment a couple of weeks ahead of the grand opening when no art had been selected for the vestibule between the dining area and the restroom, so (slightly without being asked) whipped up these cutie art prints highlighting some of the most popular flavors from the menu. We had them printed and framed in a jiffy, and they totally make this small space something special. And gives parents something to talk about when their kids ask "why is there a deer on the wall, mommy?"


restaurant design DFW Kolache Shoppe Celina Texas wall art

As you might expect, we are regulars at the Shoppe, and there's really no greater joy as a designer to overhear customers oohing and ahhing over the space. I do a happy dance every time. It feels like being on Undercover Boss, only without all the cameras.


restaurant design DFW Kolache Shoppe Celina Texas


Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with customers loving both the design and the food. The shoppe and seating area are always hopping. But even more heartwarming, the owners love it:


"Tara and her team made it so easy to communicate throughout the entire process.  They were able to bring the ideas we had in our head to actuality.  They created a great design that added to the existing Kolache Shoppe features, and made it even better."

For a full view of the shop, head over to the gallery on our Portfolio. Or, better yet...


If you are anywhere near DFW, you have to Czech it out (sorry, had to do it).  Because as great as we think the design is, the food is even better. Say Hi to Courtney and Jake.


Congratulations to our friends on their super successful opening! We wish you the most success. Call us when you're ready to open the next shoppe. We'll be ready (and hungry).

1 Comment


Kathy Thompson
Kathy Thompson
Mar 25

Perfection!! They need to sell tees and sweatshirts with the wall mural design, or even tote bags!!!

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