One Man and a Craving

PROVO, Utah – Mar 07, 2019 – With a line out the door every morning, a feature in a Food Network series, and an astonishing recipe, it’s no wonder Hruska’s Kolaches, a pastry bakery in Provo, Utah, continues to see its fame rise. Behind the apron is Ross Hruska, a 2014 finance graduate from the BYU Marriott School of Business, who gets up every morning to bake his kolaches for people all over Utah.

Hruska’s career in the food industry, however, started years before opening his own bakery. He began perfecting his craft at Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Provo Bakery during his freshman year at BYU before his two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His love for the culinary arts quickly became a part of who he was and where he wanted to go.

“I knew I wanted to open up my own shop,” Hruska says. “The question was, what kind of shop? I needed to find a hole in the food marketplace and fill it to be successful.”

One morning Hruska’s craving for his favorite pastry, known as a kolache, was overpowering. He quickly found that it was nearly impossible to find one anywhere in Utah, even though back home in Houston, Texas, he could find them easily. After this experience, he realized he could use his own cooking expertise to create the pastry and fill this void.

“Sometimes people come up with ideas that don’t match their own skill sets, but I knew I could cook,” Hruska says. “When I realized that a quick, savory breakfast pastry bakery was missing in Utah’s market, I knew that with my skills I could start something great.”

Almost a year and a half after determining to start a kolache bakery, Hruska finally saved up enough money to buy the equipment he needed. During his senior year in the finance program, he signed the lease for a little shop space on Center Street in Provo that would become Hruska’s Kolaches. The only thing holding Hruska back was finding his recipes.

After many attempts to create his own recipe, time was running out. Barely two days before the grand opening, he learned that his great grandmother had a kolache dough recipe. This recipe was precisely what he had been looking for. So, with just two days, Hruska multiplied the recipe and made a full menu of different kolaches using this family recipe.

The success of Hruska’s bakery was immediate. His background as a chef and his education in finance helped pushed the business forward. “I was able to use my experiences from my finance classes to prove that what I was making was valuable and had a viable marketplace,” Hruska says.

Within five years of the original bakery opening in Provo, Hruska opened two more bakeries in Utah: one in Sugar House in 2016 and another in American Fork in 2019.

Utah has fallen in love with Hruska’s sweet and savory pastries, and each new location proves as successful as the first. Hruska plans on opening as many bakeries as he can to continue to provide the bakery treats everyone loves.

What started as one man’s craving soon became a small business that hasn’t stopped growing. To get one of Hruska’s famous kolaches, find their closest bakery, get up early, and wait in line. Hruska guarantees you won’t regret it.

Ross Hruska holding pan of kolaches.
Ross Hruska holding his famous kolaches inside his bakery.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Caitlyn Alldredge