Growing Up ‘Strictly Amish’ Helped Create Auntie Anne’s ‘Pretzel Empire’ In Malls Across US

by Amy Paige
Amy is the Director of Trending Content at LittleThings. After graduating from Florida State University with a creative writing degree, she moved straight to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. She loves discovering and sharing viral videos, watching movies with her Muppet-like poodle mix named Cali, and doing the robot whenever possible.

Auntie Anne’s has been filling the stomachs of many Americans with delicious soft pretzels for decades now, but there is a surprising fact about the shopping mall staple that you may not know.

The founder of Auntie Anne’s, Anne Beiler, grew up on an Amish farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with her parents, seven siblings, and about 40 cows.

Many Amish people settled in Pennsylvania during the 18th century, but they’ve since moved to other places across the US and Canada, including Ohio, Indiana, and New York. Only a very small percentage of Amish people leave their faith for the modernized world. Otherwise, the ins and outs of their lives often stay within the confines of their communities.

The word “Amish” refers to a traditionalist Christian fellowship that does away with most modern technologies. For Anne, her childhood felt safe and even “idyllic.”

During her strict Amish upbringing, Anne went to church regularly, she was not allowed to watch TV, and she couldn’t listen to the radio. But by the time she was 12, she was known as the best baker in her family and says she’d often bake 60 or 70 pies and cakes by herself after school.

Shortly after Anne got married, she and her husband bought a pretzel stand for $6,000.

The rest was history …

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