Philly Pretzel Factory Creators Have Ties to the Poconos

STROUD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Philly Pretzel Factory near Bartonsville has been open for a few months now.

John Ferrand from Cresco says he's been waiting to try one of the Philly-style pretzels.

"Well, my daughter originally told me about it and everyone at work has been stopping by and picking up a bunch, so I says I am going by and I'm going to pick up some," said John Ferrand, Cresco.

The store is owned and operated by the men who started the chain. Both are East Stroudsburg University graduates.

Dan DiZio is one of the co-founders.

"After we graduated, I wasn't selling pretzels. I became a stockbroker and he became a psych counselor and we used to complain about our jobs every day and I brought up the idea about the pretzel business and he was like, OK, I am in," said Dan DiZio, Philly Pretzel Factory.

Years later, he and his partner have opened several stores and franchised others.  They've never had one in the Poconos, until now.

"I thought none better fitting than me and Len who went to East Stroudsburg, to be the one who open up. Our other roommate Sam Lake is our general manager and operating partner at this store. It's funny that 20 some years later, we are all together again," said DiZio.

And to make this spot even more special, it's one of the only places in the area where you'll find one of the newest products.  The "cheese steak rivets."

"We took the two iconic foods from Philadelphia, the cheese steak and the pretzel combined in these bite-sized nuggets," said DiZio.

Workers make the pretzels from scratch daily.

Dan says the dough is a recipe that dates to when he was 11 years old. That's when he sold his first pretzel in his hometown just outside of Philadelphia.

The company has sold more than one billion soft pretzels since first opening in 1998.


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