Tom Sturgis Pretzels

Tom Sturgis Pretzels
2267 Lancaster Pike
Reading PA
Booth:: 708

Company Description:

The tasty baked snack food that we know as the pretzel had its origin in southern Europe about 610 AD. The first pretzels were soft pretzels. These dough treats were given to the children as rewards for learning their prayers. The familiar shape of a twisted pretzel represents arms crossed over the chest in prayer. Pretiola (as they were called back then) means "little rewards" in Latin.

Eventually soft pretzels came to America via Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The first American commercial pretzel bakery was founded by Julius Sturgis in Lititz, PA in 1861. At that time, the crispy (hard) pretzel was developed by Julius.

Julius Sturgis died in 1897, but his descendants continued the pretzel baking tradition. In 1946 Marriott D. "Tom" Sturgis, grandson of Julius, founded the Tom Sturgis Pretzel Company after spending years learning pretzel baking from family members. In time Marriott’s son, Tom joined the company and now Tom’s son, Bruce has taken a place at Tom Sturgis Pretzels. Five generations of pretzel baking has made the Sturgis family the "First Family of Pretzels."

Pretzels were originally made by hand from start to finish. As technology progressed, parts of the procedure were mechanized. Through all these changes (from hand twisting at a top speed of 40 pretzels per minute to extrusion of thousands of pretzels per minute) pretzels remain a favorite, healthy snack food for young and old.

Although pretzel machinery has changed a great deal over the years, Tom Sturgis Pretzels still bakes some of our pretzels on a soapstone hearth surface which produces the highest quality pretzels available.


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