The Early Bird Gets the Kolache at Yeast Nashville

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Bill and Sara LaViolette
  • Bill and Sara LaViolette
For months, some of us have been Facebook cyberstalking a new bakery in East Nashville that has been sharing the details of their opening process. Finally after months of salivation and expectation, Yeast Nashville has finally thrown open the front doors, and boy, have you guys responded!

The bakery is the labor of love of Bill and Sara LaViolette, two Texas ex-pats who moved to Music City about five years ago. One of the things that they missed about the Lone Star State were the sweet and savory kolaches that were available from many bakeries in Houston.

Now, before any purists jump down my throat, I know that many folks consider a kolache to specifically refer to the semisweet pastry that Slovaks and Czechs have been stuffing with fruit for centuries. A similar pastry that is stuffed with a sausage to make a savory dish is actually called a klobasnek, but the LaViolettes (and most Texans) use kolache to describe both dishes. The way I figure it, the word "barbecue" can mean something vastly different in Tennessee than it does in Texas, so why not let them slide on this one?

To differentiate between the two types of kolaches, at Yeast Nashville the sausage dish is cleverly referred to as "Tex-Czech." The LaViolettes import their sausages directly from Meyer's Smokehouse in Elgin, Texas, for two reasons. First of all, they wanted the flavors to be as authentic to a Texas-style as possible, and they also wanted to keep the costs affordable for customers, something they couldn't accomplish at their current scale if they tried to use a custom recipe and grind sausage. Those who have tried the real deal in Texas will appreciate the difference, and everyone will enjoy the fact that they can buy a great breakfast snack of a sausage-and-cheese, sausage-and-jalapeño or sausage-and-egg kolache for less than three bucks apiece.

And "breakfast" is the key word in that last sentence. Even as the LaViolettes have ramped up their production during their first week of operation, they have still sold out of their entire kolache inventory by 9 a.m. most days. Crowds rush the doors when they open at 7 and demolish their supply of cream cheese, cinnamon/apple, blueberry and peach treats for just $2 each in addition to the sausage snacks. If you arrive later in the day, while you'll probably go kolache-less, Yeast Nashville still offers Drew's Brews coffee, Yazoo-jalapeño cheese bread and a variety of sweets like cookies, brownies, blondies and scones until they run out later in the day.

The bakery does stay open until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed on Tuesdays) and from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday and Sunday, so I can certainly imagine enjoying some coffee in the bright comfortable space one afternoon as I avail myself of their free wi-fi and bask in the aromas of baking goods. The LaViolettes are both quite personable and avid advocates of their neighborhood and nearby businesses. The day I first stopped by, there was practically nothing left in the cases, but I still stayed for an entertaining hour just chatting with them.

Perhaps I should have let them get back to baking ...

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