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Traditional Czech cakes — kolache.

Kolache Factory promotes Dawn Nielsen to COO

Founder’s daughter expands role in newly created position

The Kolache Factory, a quick-service bakery concept, has promoted Dawn Nielsen to chief operating officer, the company said Tuesday.

Nielsen, daughter of Kolache Factory founders John and Jerri Banks, most recently served as a vice president at the Katy, Texas-based company, which has 58 locations in eight states.

“I am so proud of what my parents built,” Nielsen (left) said in a statement. “It’s not easy to go into the restaurant industry with a totally new concept and make it. They blazed a path and I am excited and honored to move it forward and continue building on their amazing legacy with an aggressive nationwide franchise expansion.”

The Banks family opened the first Kolache Factory in Houston in 1982, serving the regionally popular Czech pastries filled with an assortment of fruits, meats, Polish sausages, eggs and cheeses.

Nielsen began working in the family’s first Kolache Factory at the age of nine, and she was instrumental in marketing and advertising the brand as it began franchising in 2000. She was named vice president after the death of her mother 10 years ago.

“Dawn has literally grown up with the Kolache Factory and has continually added the knowledge and skills necessary to help grow the brand,” said John Banks, company president. “She has already brought great things to the family franchise, and I am excited to see where we can take this company together in the future.”

The Kolache Factory has 27 company-owned stores and 31 franchised units. Three more units are scheduled to open this year.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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