LITITZ, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Lititz, Lancaster County is home to the first commercial pretzel bakery in America. Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery offers an interactive tour of history.
The pretzels were made in Lititz until shortly after WWII and moved to a factory in Shillington, just outside of Reading.
“It’s still in the family, owned by the fourth and fifth generation of the Sturgis family,” said Kurt Vangilder, general manager of Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery.
Once you’re inside the Lititz bakery, you can step back in time.
“There are ovens that were built in 1861, the twisting tables are well over 100 years old, so you are feeling like you’re working with Julius himself,” said Vangilder.
You can even try your hand at twisting a pretzel.
“A good baker could put up 300 pretzels in each of the four ovens on a really busy day,” said Vangilder.
While the pretzels sold in stores are no longer made in Lititz, you can still count on getting a fresh one. Bakers make the dough in the morning and twist pretzels throughout the day. Before you step back into the present day, you can pick up some of your favorite pretzels on the way out.
“We have our little cheesers which are made with cheddar cheese, our cinnamon pretzels baked with cinnamon so it’s not overly sweet, it’s a sweet and savory combination, our original which is our specials, and then our sourdoughs,” said Vangilder.