Every now and then, food can shock you. Granted, it’s a rare occurrence, but it does happen. Like when you eat at Deluca’s for the first time and realize the best pizza in the country resides in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
I say this because yesterday’s 1-hour drive (each way) to Searcy shocked me. Truth be told, I had given up all hope of ever eating authentic kolaches in this state. It just wasn’t going to happen, and I’m sure many of you were growing tired of my incessant complaining.
But here’s a short back story. A few months ago, a reader (Matt Cleveland) messaged me about a new-ish place in Searcy that sold kolaches called Wild Sweet William’s Bakery. So, I planned to make a trip up during Spring Break, only to find out the bakery was closed for the week. Over the next several weeks, I continued to follow WSW’s Facebook page and was borderline mesmerized by the posted food pics. These kolaches definitely passed the eyeball test.
Listen, I don’t claim to be an expert in many areas of food. My superior culinary knowledge begins and ends with soup dumplings and kolaches. I know, I know, it’s weird, but facts are facts. Hell, I’m not even all that knowledgeable about ribs. Anyways, my point is I grew up in Texas, where the kolache is king, and, dammit, I know a great kolache when I taste one.
Wild Sweet William’s makes a mean kolache.
And I knew it as soon as I walked through the front door of the cute bake house on Main Street. Kolaches have an unmistakable smell … it’s that slightly egg-y, sweet, doughy smell that is unlike any other.
I arrived at 9 a.m. to find a steady stream of customers filing in and out of the bakery. Behind the casing and on the counter was an assortment of dwindling items like pimento cheese kolaches, muffins, klobasnek (sausage rolls), breakfast sandwiches, and babka. I ordered just about one of everything and immediately struck up a conversation with the folks behind the counter, who turned out to be owners Bill and Lisa Ford. They were super friendly and Lisa told me about her Czech ancestry and spending a good deal of time in Texas.
Again, great folks, but I had to keep the conversation to a minimum because I was dying to dig into this box of baked goods. Thankfully, I had the confines of my car to attack the items like a rabid dog.
And here’s the thing. Yes, I was there for the kolaches, but everything in the box was amazing. The cinnamon babka delighted, as did the enormous cappuccino chocolate chip scone, and the sausage roll that resembled an Everything bagel. It was also a great value; I think my entire box of goodies cost $23 … and I had a lot of stuff. Check the website out for prices, but everything was reasonable.
Wild Sweet William’s Bakery was an absolute hit, and a place I’d highly recommend making the effort to check out. If you live in Searcy, be thankful your town has WSW’s.
The rest of Arkansas is envious.
Wild Sweet William’s Bakery
304B S. Main Street (Searcy)
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 7 a.m.-1 p.m.
Need to Know
-arrive early, they probably sell out most days by 9:30
-great variety of rotating scones (blueberry, lavender white chocolate, spiced peach, chocolate covered strawberry)