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Auntie Anne's Pretzel Founder, "Auntie" Anne Beiler on How It All Began

  • Broadcast in Entrepreneur
Kelly Scanlon

Kelly Scanlon


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Auntie Anne's Pretzels are known world-wide, but many people don't know that these hand-rolled soft pretzels got their start at a farmer's market stand in Pennsylvania in 1988. Founder "Auntie" Anne Beiler joins Smart Company host Kelly Scanlon to describe the company's humble origins, how they handled almost runaway growth, and the thinking behind the company's decision to franchise. The author of a book called Twist of Fate, Anne also dishes lots of advice for entrepreneurs.

Anne's journey to become a leading female entrepreneur began years before the first pretzel was rolled. In September  1975, Anne and her husband experienced a parent’s worst nightmare – the loss of a child. This event propelled Anne into years of darkness during which she nearly lost her husband, her family, and her faith. Out of her pain came purpose and the desire to persevere towards success personally and professionally. Today, Anne finds her purpose as a public speaker, inspiring business communities and encouraging women across the globe.

In 1992 Anne received her first Entrepreneur of the Year award from Inc. Magazine. She's also been named one of America’s 500 Women Entrepreneurs by Working Women, and received honorary doctorates from Eastern College and Elizabethtown College. Anne has been featured on many television shows including, The Food Networks Unwrapped, Oprah, Good Morning America, and Joyce Meyers; and in magazines such as Fortune, Nation’s Restaurant, Entrepreneur Startups, and Guideposts.

Visit the Smart Companies archives for more podcast interviews of successful entrepreneurs and experts who can help you grow your business.