World’s Largest Soft Pretzel Franchise Started with a Single Stand in Downingtown

Image of Anne Beiler via the Christian Post.

Auntie Anne’s, the world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise, started in 1988 with a single stand in Downingtown, writes Leah MarieAnn Klett for the Christian Post.

The business’s founder, Anne Beiler, grew up in a small Amish community in Lancaster County. She suffered a horrible loss later in life when her 18-month-old daughter Angela died in a farming accident. She sought spiritual comfort with a local pastor, but he took advantage of her grief and began sexually abusing and spiritually manipulating her for six years.

This brought Beiler to the brink of suicide, but she managed to find a way out through prayer.

“I kept in touch with God, and that’s the only thing that saved me,” she said.

Beiler soon reconciled with her husband, and the pair bought a concession stand at a farmers’ market in Downingtown. She put all her energy into her pretzels, and before long, they became a huge hit, giving birth to Auntie Anne’s Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels.

In 2005, Beiler sold Auntie Anne’s and devoted her time to speaking to audiences on leadership, purpose, and the power of confession.

Read more about Auntie Anne’s from the Christian Post here.

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