On Friday, Philly Pretzel Factory opened in a 500 sq. ft. space at the Light Street Pavilion of Harborplace at the Inner Harbor. The new location is in between Johnny Rockets and The Fudgery. Philly Pretzel Factory will also have a mobile pretzel stand that will be brought outside during good weather. Harford County resident Michael Ward is the franchisee and is also in the works of opening a Bel Air location.
Philly Pretzel Factory, which got its start in 1998 in Northeast Philadelphia, specializes in Philadelphia-style soft pretzels. It began franchising in 2004 and now has locations in 12 states. This is the first Baltimore location and the fifth Maryland location.
Ward, who lives in Bel Air, told SouthBMore.com he became a fan of Philly Pretzel Factory when traveling through Philadelphia for business. He said he would always pick up pretzels and Rivets (its signature pretzel nuggets) for his family. He met the two founders, Dan DiZio and Len Lehman, and started talking to them about franchising opportunities. He came away impressed and originally was just going to open a location in Bel Air before also deciding to pursue the Harborplace opportunity. He hopes to open additional stores in the Baltimore area, and noted that the corporate office is “super excited” to get a presence in the city.
The Inner Harbor location offers traditional and cinnamon Pretzel Twists, as well as Rivets. The pretzels can be paired with 10 dipping sauces, including four signature mustards, which can be purchased in bottles. Philly Pretzel Factory sells single pretzels and large trays for parties and catering. It also sells Spicy Pretzel Sausages and Pretzel Cheesesteaks. Drinks include bottled sodas and frozen lemonades.
Ward hired Jay Kuhn as the store’s manager and eight employees from Baltimore City. Philly Pretzel Factory will be open every day from 10am to 9pm, however Ward is considering keeping it open until 10pm during certain times of the year on Friday and Saturday nights. It will provide deliveries in a three- to four-mile radius including to the South Baltimore neighborhoods.
Ward is excited about the Downtown location because of the many visitors to the Inner Harbor and businesses in the surrounding area. He is hoping Philly Pretzel Factory will provide trays for many luncheons and business meetings, as well as for events at local hospitals, schools, and colleges. Philly Pretzel Factory will provide deliveries in a three- to four-mile radius including to the South Baltimore neighborhoods. Ward is also hoping the vendors selling Philly-style pretzels outside of Ravens games will come to his location for pickups.
Harborplace is undergoing a renovation by Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation. Renovations are currently taking place on the interior of the Light Street Pavilion with exterior improvements expected to begin soon after. The pavilion will remain open during all improvements. The Pratt Street Pavilion is also currently receiving interior and exterior improvements.