For the special month of February we wanted to TREAT readers to something SWEET so let me introduce you to NFIB members Mike and Jane Boyle, owners of Candy Haven and Kolache Haven of Denton, Texas. They are our NFIB/Texas February Member of the Month.
I appreciated Mike spending time talking to me about their small businesses because as he put it, “They are up to their eyeballs in Valentine’s Day.”
In 1982, Mike and Jane started Candy Haven
and then in 2008 they started a sister company, Kolache Haven
. The two business are located in the same building and exist side by side. Jane Boyle and her 20 employees work very hard keeping things running smoothly especially during this busy and intense month. Not only is it Valentine’s Day, they are also working on Mardi Gras orders plus their normal everyday orders. They are assembling gifts baskets filled with homemade cookies, fudge, cupcakes, chocolate dipped strawberries and candy and then delivering them all over the Metroplex as well as making King Cakes on top of that. Candy Haven is also an all occasion custom cake shop so being busy this month is an understatement.
Mike said he and Jan enjoy owning a small business because they get to watch their business grow. They started Candy Haven with nothing and have watched it flourish for more than 34 years. They also like being in control of their time and how they choose to be successful, so 26 years after starting Candy Haven Mike and Jan continued on with their entrepreneurial spirit and set off to start a new venture, Kolache Haven. (This adds to the “Sweetness” of this article but also brings in the “Savory.”) Mike said he knew a Kolache business would be a good fit in their town. There was not a business that made kolaches near them and he knew they were a popular item. He also knew they could add a special twist to their kolache menu by adding sweets, but also putting a twist on the Kolache itself. If you look at the Kolache Haven menu you will see their Signature Sandwiches and Combo Kolaches listed as well as some Czech favorites such as the Klobasnek and the Peasant.
Mike has a quite the secret weapon. He has a Baking Science Engineering Degree from Kansas State University. Mike has developed some melt-in-your-mouth Kolache recipes. He also developed the cake recipes for Candy Haven in the early eighties. Recipes that have kept customers coming back for years. He totally has had a repeat performance with Kolache Haven.
Mike and Jan joined NFIB in 1988 because they felt like there was no one looking out for them, the small guy. They needed a voice of combined people to represent them and fight for them at the state and federal level. They found this by being members of NFIB with thousands of other small business owners. As Mike said, “We needed someone to scream for us so we wouldn’t get eaten up.” (I thought to myself…eaten up like your candy, cakes, treats and kolaches? 🙂 Mike said if he could reform one piece of bad policy today, it would 100% be the Inventory Tax. He thinks it is absurd to keep paying taxes year after year on their equipment such as the ovens and even their sinks and spoons. For Mike and Jane, it is a heavy tax burden. It this tax was repealed or reformed, it would help allow them to invest in other things such as growth, more employees and employee compensation. I told Mike that this is a battle cry we hear from many of our Texas members and an issue we plan to work on during the next legislative session.
Mike and Jan Boyle, we thank you for your 28 years of membership and loyalty to NFIB. We promise to keep fighting for your “SWEET & SAVORY” small businesses. Your entrepreneurial spirit, drive and determination is appreciated as well as the yummy and delicious treats you work so hard to produce every single day for your customers. You are a tried and true example of what makes small business owners the backbone of our economy.