In 1908 a 21-year-old Italian baker named Nicholas immigrated to Philadelphia with a dream of opening his own bakery. He married a woman named Antoinette and had seven children. Eventually, he opened a store front out of his home with a bakery in the basement. During the early years, his oldest son, Albert, took a keen interest to the business and would work before and after school with his father.
When the Great Depression took the United States by storm in the 1930’s, Nicholas and Albert could only ration the ingredients for one of their products, the soft pretzel. They decided to focus strictly on wholesale and to shut down the store front. Customers would pick up baskets of pretzels each morning that were then sold on the street corners of Philadelphia.
Albert was later drafted to serve in World War II. He fought for his country and returned home to the pretzel business. When Nicholas passed away Albert decided to move the company from Philadelphia to Southern New Jersey in the 1950’s.
It was in New Jersey where Albert became known as the Pretzel Man by local kids and stores. After his passing in 2014 and nearly 90 years of pretzel baking, one of his grandsons, Mike Jr., who spent many Saturday mornings at the pretzel bakery, decided to launch his own artisan pretzel company in New York City; naming it after his Grandfather, the Pretzel Man.
Throughout the years, Mike always believed there was an opportunity to push the ordinary pretzel into the new century by creating a modern product that was easy to eat on the go. He developed the stuffed pretzel ball after becoming tired of always having to dip his pretzels into different sauces or melting cheese on top.
He assumed the position of CEO & President, and worked out of a shared kitchen based in Long Island City where countless hours were spent hand rolling and baking his pretzel ball creations.