Add a twist to your Thursday with a free pretzel. is celebrating National Pretzel Day by offering a free pretzel to each customer who enters the shop, no purchase necessary.
As an added bonus, the first 100 customers will receive a card that entitles them to a free pretzel every day during the month of May.
“We have an incredible fanatical following. This day is about us having a little fun, giving back, and feeding our guest’s need for great taste,” said Dan DiZio, chief executive officer and co-founder of Philly Pretzel Factory, a 100-plus-unit chain born and raised in Philadelphia.
Founded in 1983, National Pretzel Day was created when U.S. Representative Robert S. Walker, a Pennsylvania Republican, declared his favorite food was deserving of a holiday. In April 2003, Pennsylvania’s Governor Ed Rendell joined the bandwagon by re-declaring the unofficial national holiday.
Coinciding with National Pretzel Day, DiZio has been picked to appear on CBS’s hit reality show “Undercover Boss,” on Friday, April 27 at 8 p.m.
On the show, DiZio leaves his corner office at the Philly Pretzel Factory headquarters and goes to work within the locations, in disguise, on a mission to improve the brand, working side-by-side with the pretzel makers and management.
Rick Hendon, owner of the South Ave. East franchise, said what makes the pretzels so special is that they are made fresh every morning.
"We mix them up, twist them by hand, then they're placed in a cooler so that they don't rise more then we want them to and we bake them on demand," Hendon explained. "We don't start baking until 15 minutes before we open the store so everyone gets a really fresh product."
The store will be open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Hendon, who has owned the shop since 2008, said not only are the pretzels a popular after-school treat, the store's party trays are a big hit as well.
Along with the traditional hot pretzels, the menu also features cinnamon-sugar pretzels, hot dogs wrapped in a pretzel-dough bun, and a cheesesteak pretzel, which Hendon explained consists of high-quality beef and mozzarella sealed in dough.
"They're great as an on-the-go snack," he said.
Condiments include four different mustards as well as dips such as cinnamon-sugar, chocolate, buttercream frosting and cheddar cheese.
The pretzel purveyor said he is happy to support local fundraisers by either making a donation or partnering with area parent-teacher-organizations.
"We give them a break so it ends up being a tremendous fundraiser where they can make a 100 percent profit," Hendon said. "Every Friday we make between 2,000 and 3,000 pretzels for local PTOs. Plus, it's easy. You don't need to cut anything up, you just hand them one in some waxed paper. It's great."
Marty Ferrill, president of Philly Pretzel Factory, said the giveaway is a chance to reward the store's regular customers and also welcome new ones. Ferrill said the recipe is another thing that sets the pretzels apart.
"The main thing is tradition," Ferrill said. "Our product is more dense and doughy than what some people think of when they think of a hot pretzel. It's made from a real Pennsylvania Dutch German roots recipes. You taste the difference. I hope everyone will come out and enjoy a free pretzel."