Those who’ve shopped at Meijer for groceries have probably either noticed or tried Ben’s Soft Pretzels, located inside the grocery store. Business has been growing for the company, and since the start of the 2018-2019 college football season, Ben’s Soft Pretzels has been serving their Amish-inspired gourmet pretzels at the University of Louisville Cardinal Stadium.
Owner Ron Williams says business is good for his company, which has locations in Evansville, Owensboro and, now, Louisville. Williams owns two franchises at the Evansville and Owensboro locations and is excited to see his franchises expand.
“The corporate side of Ben’s has a connection with the schools,” Williams said. He explained that a manager who worked with Ben’s at Auburn University was able to seal the deal between Williams’s local franchise and U of L.
“We made the initial contact [with U of L]. It’s been a big positive,” Williams said. “Their stadium there holds somewhere between 61,000 and 65,000 people. A few of those have figured out who we are. We’re hoping in the next 2 or 3 years, we’ll get even more recognition.”
Williams plans for expected growth from his franchises. He said the model Ben’s Soft Pretzels is operating on is the same model used for the University of Notre Dame. That model placed the pretzel company as the leading pretzel vendor at all of Notre Dame’s stadiums.
Ben’s Soft Pretzels currently has over 75 bakeries in 8 states. The pretzels are made from an Amish-inspired recipe and are fresh-baked daily. The company uses imported German salt on their pretzels and features 11 different gourmet dipping sauces from which to choose.