Recently I had the supreme honor of an invitation to be an Auntie Anne’s Blog Ambassador and attending Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Academy (yes, there really is such a thing!), to learn all about the pretzel experience. I know, you’re jealous aren’t you?
I had no idea Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Academy was practically in my backyard, less than an hour drive to the beautiful area of Lancaster, PA.
I was a very lucky girl and got to stay at a very cool hotel:
The first night we also dined at one of the ‘hot spots’ of Lancaster:
And it was good.
But the main reason we were all gathered together in Lancaster, was to attend Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Academy and learn about all the ‘behind the scenes’ mode of Auntie Anne’s.
Founded by Anne Beiler, when she bought a stand in a weekly Pennsylvania farmers’ market, her ambitions were modest. She started Auntie Anne’s after enduring personal and family trauma.
But today, it’s the largest soft-pretzel franchise in the world, with its 1,200 outlets found in malls, airports, and boardwalks in 26 countries. How cool is that?
Following Anne’s motto: “Give, to Get Back, to Give Again” the company continues to grow and partner with great causes, such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
While in Lancaster, PA, I learned all about the pretzel making process and what makes their pretzels stand above the rest. From the special dough, which is shipped directly to the franchise stores, to the variety of pretzels offerings (so many choices!), Auntie Anne’s is like no other.
They serve only the freshest pretzels, which are guaranteed to be fresh out of the oven, within 30 minutes of serving them. Fresh and oh so delicious!
We had the privilege of learning first-hand how to roll and make the pretzels – we were even completely surprised with our very own aprons:
Pretzel making takes a special knack and certainly is no easy task. The dough must take time to rise and then is hand rolled into that special shape we all know and love.
Auntie Anne herself made a surprise visit in the middle of our tour, just prior to our pretzel rolling instruction:
And looked right at home in the learning kitchen:
We all took turns being instructed by Anne, she was very patient with each one of us:
I had the honor and privilege to learn how to roll a pretzel from Anne herself, which was so much fun! I had such an amazing time, both learning about the company and their partnership with great charities, and with the new blogging relationships I made.
This mini trip gave me a new appreciation for a wonderful company, not to mention the addiction to the cinnamon sugar pretzels. I am completely and totally hooked on the cinnamon sugar pretzels as well as the Almond Pretzel with caramel sauce. I might need an intervention since they are way too yummy for words.
You can learn more about the Auntie Anne’s brand and products at their official website, onTwitter, or via Facebook. I’ll be sharing more news and product updates later in the year. I’m so excited to be partnering with an honorable and upstanding company!
Have you had Auntie Anne’s Pretzels yet? Which ones are your favorite?
Note: Trip, accommodations, and samples were received as an official Auntie Anne’s Blogger Ambassador. As always, the opinions are my own and not influenced by outside sources. See my disclosure policy here.