For the last few years the Philadelphia area has been inundated with soft pretzel stores. The omnipresent Philly Soft Pretzel Co. franchise has opened up dozens of locations each year invading strip malls throughout the region.
It is a little unfortunate. Don’t get me wrong, Philly Soft Pretzel’s products are not bad. Better, in fact, then a lot of the junk you’d get from the side of the road. But what the franchised pretzel threatens is the independent pretzel bakery.
The South Jersey Pretzel and Water Ice Co. first came to my attention a decade ago when a coworker who trekked 40 miles to Montgomery County from New Jersey each day used to occasionally bring a tray of 50 into the office. They were the best soft pretzels I’d ever had. Still are. (more…)