Pie with a Side of Bigotry

Should I feel guilty for loving the Koffee Kup “Family Restaurant”? I’m not prone to hyperbole when it comes to restaurants, but the Koffee Kup Restaurant in Hico, Texas really is the best. For weeks after eating there for the first time, I literally dreamed about the food. The crux of the problem is this: The pie is SO GOOD! Its sweetness almost trumps any guilty doubt I have about eating there.

Why do I feel guilty? Unfortunately, this restaurant and Hico have a little history. The name was “Koffee Kup Kafe” until a few years ago, which is alleged to be a not-so-subtle reference to the Ku Klux Klan. In fact the prevailing rumor is that the Klan used to (or may still) meet there. It seems Hico had earned a reputation over the past 150 years for being racist, troglodytic, and fundamentally frenzied. One of my co-workers who is a person of color has told a story about attempting to pay for gas in Hico only to have the attendant ignore her. This might seem like a simple miscommunication if it wasn’t for the fact that the attendant was sitting across the counter from her, an arm’s length away.

But progress has been made the past few years. The “Koffee Kup” only has two K’s on the sign now. On the bank in Hico they used to have a mural of a lynching scene, but they’ve removed it. On my last visit, I took some solace in the fact that our waitress was Latina. Still I couldn’t help but notice that she was by far the tannest person there. The pictures on the wall and the décor are kitschy and country, including an amazing collection of salt and pepper shakers and some photographs depicting a flood on the Brazos as well as a historic Baptist revival on the river. There’s no indication other than the remaining two K’s in the name that there was ever any association with organized racism.

Maybe they should change the way they market their pie to show a new spirit of ethnic inclusiveness. They could have new flavors like African Apple, Mulatto Meringue, Latino Lemon, Caucasian Coconut, or even Mixed-Heritage Mince. That might assuage some of my latent guilt.




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18 thoughts on “Pie with a Side of Bigotry

  1. Pingback: “The best laid plans…” | if i had a blog it would look like this

  2. I have often wondered if it was related to the KKK as rumor has it. However I don’t know that there is much evidence one way or another. At least no hard evidence (other than anecdotal) that I can find. Just b/c a small town isn’t that diverse doesn’t mean that everyone in the town or the town itself is racist.

    • I agree. I have visited the Koffee Kup many times. Great food and pie. Writer seems to be a little too ‘Dallas’ in his attitude…

        • Oh well that explains everything..

          Just kidding, I’m a transplant from California “it that a Yankee? I don’t think so”

          Texas is different, I love most aspects but that’s one that still make me uncomfortable, green years later. Now it’s just not as surprising.

    • I’m sorry to say but I was raised in Hico from birth to 18 and when I was there no one of color was ever allowed. And yes, there were KKK rallies in the park. It’s one of the most disgusting environments with uneducated & closed minded “folk” and I’m truly ashamed anyone would ever raise children there. I thank Universe every day that I had the strength & intelligence to leave before I was perpetually tainted. It’s the place of my nightmares.

        • Go to a parade there on the 4th or really any major “community” gathering (especially a political one) and look for woody wood pecker (peckerwoods) on cars, clothing, etc.They might not burn crosses or lynch anymore, but the subliminal messages and klan are definitely still there…

    • I’ve been in and around Hico all my life . I am 66 years old . My cousin started the Koffee kup back in the 1960’s when it was downtown . Marcil Moody and her husband Herman started it . Was NO KKK crap at all intended then ,,, and none now ! Some people just want to start a bunch of crap just for the hell of it .

  3. I am from Hico and this is a bunch of hooey! Instead on blindly maligning an entire town and its residents you might want to check your facts.

  4. I am rolling in the floor. I was looking for a picture of the Koffee Kup and god then I found. Last May my cousin and I drove up from Houston on a genealogical hunt for some of my great grandpa’s family. We visited the town cemetery, ate at the Jersey Lily and had pie at the Koffee Kup. For some reason my cousin rented a kind of distinctive car that made us highly visible and we were all over the town. Had a great time btw. Then I read of the history of the KK.

    Well, this info gives me a whole new angle on my genealogical research!!!!!!!!!!!! May have to give your town another visit.

  5. The owner Lynn is a complete douche bag! He is a thief, A coward, and a racist! I know him personally. His mother was married to my uncle. I would never spend a dime at his restaurant!

  6. I grew up in this town. Grandparents owned a gas station is the 80’s and we celebrated the s all town feel. I never once felt a racist vive, however I am white in a town with only one person of color at the time. I am sure racism played a huge part of that makeup. I am very thankful to have had a great family around me that did not believe in such hate, therefore we never felt it. I will say, however, the N word is still used as a way to describe people of color in parts of the south. To many, “it’s no big deal”, a bit disturbing when I visit. I loved my lil town and the amazing pie at the Koffe Kup.

  7. My father is from Hico, TX and the people there are SO under educated. It’s really sad. Last time I visited for my fathers funeral I heard the N word so many times I was about to scream. I guess being well educated with a advanced degrees helped me understand that everyone ( black, brown, gay, etc.) should have the same rights, protection and respect. I’m sure the KKK still holds monthly meetings in Hico.

  8. I actually went to a Klan cross lighting in Hico in the early 1990s. I was covering it for a local newspaper. Many media was there. It use to be a sundown town. And it had a sign up. Now I know many people from Hico, who aren’t racist. But the Klan did meet there and to my knowledge had a meeting as recently as this last year.

  9. Or

    It could just be more welcoming with people of color solicit their business in the way of enjoying good pies!

    Just a thought.

    …but my experience there was unnerving. You could taste the “why are you here?” coming from the looming stares as soon as I entered to get a quick bite. 😩

  10. I am amazed at people repeating rhetoric anecdotal heresay. If a little town is mostly white it must be racist. Towns that are majority black are not classified as racist, oh, I forget, only white people can be racists. The KK is a fantastic family restaurant with exceptional downhome food, unbelievable Pies and onion rings, why is that not where the story starts and ends

  11. I am glad you like the pie and if you took time to TALK to the owner you would know the truth instead of your crazy idea that the letters stand for something made up or ethnic hatred. This has nothing to do with ethnicity but old man cleverness in the 1950’s. “The only thing we do here is drink coffee,” Said Cal Segrist. The sign salesman suggested the owner make it clever and stand out using K for C in Koffee. During the 1960’s Dallas laundromats hung their signs upside down and it was clever too. In 2017 none of this is clever.

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