— -- For many, no trip to the mall or road trip pit stop is complete without a visit to Auntie Anne’s. The chain, which has more than 1,200 locations globally, sells tasty and unique pretzels in several flavors, including a pretzel-wrapped hot dog. Here are some facts you probably didn’t know about the chain.
There’s a Real Anne
Her name’s Anne Beiler, and she opened the first stand with her husband Jonas at an Amish country farmer’s market in 1988.
The pretzels, not the Beilers. The pretzel style is traditionally known as Amish-style, and it’s a perfect fit for Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where the first location opened.
The First “Travel Location”
Auntie Anne’s is a mainstay of airports, train stations, and the like, but the first location in a travel hub didn’t open until 1995, with a shop in New York’s Penn Station.
The Beilers Left in 2005
Founders Anne and Jonas Beiler left the company in 2005 in order to open a family counseling center.
They Give out Free Pretzels
On past special occasions, like the twentieth anniversary, they’ve given out free pretzels. So keep your eyes peeled for the next special day!
They’re Owned by FOCUS Brands
That’s the same company that owns Carvel, Schlotzky’s, Cinnabon, and Moe’s Southwest Grill.
They’re Headquartered in a (Former) Post Office
In 2006, the company moved their headquarters to the former home of the Lancaster, Penn. post office, which was built in 1927 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
They Donate Surplus Food
They began working with Food Donation Connection in 2010, and work with local hunger relief organizations to donate surplus food.
They Donate a Lot of Money
From 1999 to 2009, they partnered with the Children’s Miracle Network to donate more than $4.5 million to children’s hospitals across the country. They’ve also donated nearly $1 million to childhood cancer research in partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
There’s a Food Truck
There’s an Auntie Anne’s food truck, which crisscrosses the country making stops at fairs, concerts, college campuses, flea markets, and festivals.