Philly Pretzel Factory
3 minute read:
Usually for these blogs, I’m on the lookout for a unique restaurant with a unique story, but I’m always open for something a little different. Philly Pretzel Factory in Naperville was nothing short of a great experience for me. After visiting this place and speaking with the owner, I realized this place was different...and yes, I mean different in a good way. Speaking with the owner and his son for a good couple of hours honestly helped me see what owning a restaurant should be all about.
Tom is the owner of this place, and trust me when I say you’ll be glad to remember his personality. Before living in the Chicagoland area, he lived in New Jersey, New York, and Philly. Originally having a background in business, he eventually moved to the Naperville area, giving him a good reason to start something new. Having relatives back in Philly, Tom and his family would regularly visit, often times bringing back treats for their friends in Naperville. Usually on the trip home, Tom would bring back his favorite snack...philly pretzels. After a while, bringing these treats back had Tom pondering a new business idea.
Thinking back to his days in business school, Tom remembered how he used to lighten peoples’ day after a full day of classes. With just $4.00 from his wallet, he could bring 20 hot philly pretzels back to his friends house where the party was at, and the next thing you know, Tom was the life of the party. With this being a favorite college memory, starting his very own Philly Pretzel Factory location only made sense. Everything is proprietary to the franchise including their cheeses, sauces, and their dough mixes. More importantly, the recipes taste the exact same as they did 20 years ago, and that’s a huge part of why Tom decided to open his own franchise location.
When it comes to quick convenience food places, customer experience is very important. Tom sees that his window to impress is short, so he makes it a point to give his customers what he likes to call “the philly fanatical pretzel experience.” Not only does he serve a snack that you can eat at any time of the day, but he serves what is unique to Philly Pretzel Factory. Coming into this place, a customers crummy day can turn into laughs and smiles after they meet Tom. He’ll make sure to find a conversation that you want to invest yourself in, and he’ll make sure you leave wanting to come back for another delicious snack.
Ask Tom what the best choice is on the menu and he’ll always tell you his personal favorite which is the Pepperoni melt. If you prefer the top customer choice over a biased owners favorite choice, he’s noticed that the most popular two menu items are the Cinnamon Twists, and the Pretzel Hot Dogs. If you have trouble figuring out what you’re in the mood to order, don’t sweat it, he’ll be sure to let you sample the Pretzel Rivets so your taste buds can help make a decision for you.
For many people, trying a new restaurant is a big decision...you have never eaten their food, you don’t know what the workers are like, and you honestly don’t really know what to expect overall. So, if you’re interested in knowing how new customers are treated here, I can speak from experience when I say they’re treated very well. Tom pays close attention to new customers, letting them try out the food before making a purchase, sharing the history of Philly Pretzel Factory, and even giving some nutrition facts on his menu. A hot pretzel may not seem all that healthy, but at this place, healthy does exist. One full size philly pretzel has a whopping 14 grams of protein. Finally, all those meatheads out there can eat a normal snack instead of chugging down another protein shake.
I won’t waste anymore of your time trying to tell you about pretzels, because let’s be honest, the food and the experience will always end up speaking for itself. All I can leave you with is that first time customers including myself always find their way back to this place. It truly is a one of a kind pretzel experience. Tom and his sons all care about the relationships they build with their customers, and they love that people are always willing to wait for a fresh snack. Head on over to Philly Pretzel Factory and prepare to be amazed.