Auntie Anne's

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Auntie Anne's, Inc.
Founded1988; 33 years ago (1988)
FounderAnne F. Beiler
Key people
Heather Neary
ParentFocus Brands

Auntie Anne's, Inc., is an American chain of pretzel shops founded by Anne F. Beiler and her husband, Jonas, in 1988. Auntie Anne's serves products such as pretzels, dips, and beverages. They also offer Pretzels & More Homemade Baking Mix.[1] The chain has more than 1,500 locations around various locations, such as in shopping malls and Walmart stores, as well as non-traditional retail spaces including universities, parking/rest areas, airports, train stations, travel plazas, amusement parks, and military bases. Their slogan as of 2010 is "Pretzel Perfect".


A small assortment of pretzels at an Auntie Anne's location in New York City.

The chain started as a market stand in the Downingtown, Pennsylvania Farmer's Market in 1988. The franchise began when a store location opened at Saturday's Market in Middletown, Pennsylvania. Auntie Anne's celebrated their 100th store opening in Granite Run Mall, Media, Pennsylvania, in 1992.[2] In 1995, the first train station location opened at Penn Station in New York City. This year also brought the opening of the first international Auntie Anne's store in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In October 2006, it was announced that the Auntie Anne's corporate headquarters would be relocated from the town of Gap, Pennsylvania to downtown Lancaster.[3] The former site of the Lancaster Post Office was purchased and given minor renovations for about $7 million[3] by Auntie Anne's, Inc. Constructed in 1927, the three-story building stands on about 1.5 acres (6,100 m2). The building maintains the original 1920s features such as brass doors, high ceilings, and skylights. The Lancaster Post Office was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[4]

In November 2010, Atlanta franchisor Focus Brands, a portfolio company of private equity firm Roark Capital, acquired Auntie Anne's.[5] William P. Dunn Jr. was the company's president and its chief operating officer from 2013 to 2015.[6] Heather Leed Neary became the company's president in 2015.[7]

In 2020, the company released a new product, a DIY at-home pretzel making kit, for those practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.[8]

International locations[edit]

Auntie Anne's now has over 600 international locations, including many across Europe, namely Greece,[9] Russia, and the UK.[10] As long ago as 2004, there were 17 locations in Sydney, Australia.[11] Locations in Asia include Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia,[12] South Korea, Singapore, Philippines, Brunei, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan, while in the Americas there are sites in Honduras,[9] the Bahamas, Mexico,[13] Chile, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala and Brazil. In addition, there are stores in South Africa and Egypt.[14][15] There are plans to start stores in China.[16]

In overseas markets, the restaurants have made significant alterations to coexist with local sensibilities, including changing recipes to conform to halal in Malaysia.[12]

Community service and charitable activity[edit]

From 1999 through 2009, Auntie Anne's and its franchisees partnered to donate more than $4.5 million to local children's hospitals across the country through the Children's Miracle Network. Auntie Anne's has also supported the pediatric cancer charity Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation since 2011.[17]

Auntie Anne's began a partnership with Food Donation Connection in 2011, matching stores throughout the country with local hunger relief organizations to donate extra pretzel products.

In 2013, Anne and Auntie Anne's was featured in the reality TV series Food Court Wars. Auntie Anne's founder Anne Beiler appeared in the 2013 season premier of the television show The Secret Millionaire in which she masqueraded as a volunteer at the Baltimore-based food non-profit organization Moveable Feast. She also made a donation to the charity.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pretzels & More Homemade Baking Mix". Auntie Anne's Inc. Archived from the original on October 5, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  2. ^ Beiler, Anne (January 11, 2010). Twist of Faith: The Story of Anne Beiler, Founder of Auntie Anne's Pretzels. Thomas Nelson. ISBN 9781418568412.
  3. ^ a b Burns, Patrick (October 11, 2006). "Auntie Anne's HQ to move downtown". Intelligencer Journal. Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on October 22, 2006. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  5. ^ Elan, Elissa (October 8, 2010). "Focus Brands to acquire Auntie Anne's".; Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  6. ^ "Executive Team". Auntie Anne's Inc. Archived from the original on January 8, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  7. ^ Mekeel, Tim (November 24, 2015). "Auntie Anne's Promotes Neary to President". Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  8. ^ "Auntie Anne's Is Selling DIY Kits So You Can Make Their Pretzels at Home". Parents. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Auntie Anne's Moves into Honduras and Greece". November 1, 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  10. ^ "International franchise plans UK expansion". Archived from the original on April 18, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  11. ^ "Auntie Anne's Moves Down Under". September 2, 2004. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Auntie Anne's in Malaysia confirms 'pretzel dog' now 'pretzel sausage' to satisfy halal cert". Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  13. ^ "Auntie Anne's opens in Mexico". March 12, 2009. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  14. ^ name="internationalbus">"Auntie Anne's continues international growth".; Philadelphia Business Journal. December 31, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  15. ^ "Iconic brand drives growth overseas with new franchise units in Thailand, Brunei and Turkey". (Press release). Auntie Anne's Inc. January 9, 2014. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  16. ^ "Cinnabon, Auntie Anne's seeks China franchisees". December 14, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  17. ^ "Tilt Blog News Piece". Tilt Blog. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  18. ^ Nailog, Catherine (August 8, 2013). "Best of the Week: Secret Millionaire on ABC". Parents Television Council. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2015.

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