Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Philly Pretzel Factory Featured in The Trentonian

Franchisees come from many different backgrounds. Mark and Karen Cooper were both white collar workers in corporate America before opening their first Philly Pretzel Factory location in Ewing in 2007. Mark recently spoke with The Trentonian in an article called “Ewing pretzel shop owners to open second location,” which published July 21. The article sheds light onto Mark and Karen's entrepreneurial story, how they stormed the tough economy and how they are now expanding and opening their second location in Flemington. A portion of the article is shared below and you can view the full article from The Trentonian by clicking here.

Ewing pretzel shop owners to open second location

EWING — Four years ago, Mark and Karen Cooper decided that making money at their respective jobs in corporate America wasn’t enough, they wanted a new twist on life.

Little did they know that their dream of economic independence — as franchise owners of a Philly Pretzel Factory outlet, which they opened in 2007 in Ewing — would materialize just as the nation was plunging into the worst economic recession in half a century.

Yet, this long-married couple from Cherry Hill persevered, weathered the storm and are now poised to expand from their store at 1400 Parkway Ave. to a second location in the Hunterdon County community of Flemington. The official opening is set for Aug. 1.

As Mark tells their story, he and wife Karen, both 49, worked for decades in white collar office jobs: She was an area manager for Wawa, running many stores, and he worked for a company that encrypted data networks.

“We were at a point where money was less important than being together, working together, doing something that was fun and rewarding at same time,” said Mark.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Franchisee Spotlight: Ron Heial and Gary Nolan, Owners of 13 Philly Pretzel Factory Locations

Each week we highlight some of our Philly Pretzel Factory franchisees. Today, Ron Heil and Gary Nolan , Owners of 13 Philly Pretzel Factory locations, are in our franchisee spotlight.

Locations: 11 locations in Pennsylvania and 2 in Jersey

132 S. 11th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

1500 JFK Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19102

1600 JFK Bvld
Philadelphia, PA 19102

1839 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

34 W. Lancaster Avenue
Paoli, PA 19301

625 MacDade Blvd.
Folsom, PA 19033

608 Lancaster Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

700 Baltimore Pike
Springfield, PA 19064

2500 W. Chester Pike
Broomall, PA 19008

1015 E. Baltimore Pike
Media, PA 19063

1532 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

373 Egg Harbor Road
Sewell, NJ 08080

1010 Cooper Street
Deptford, NJ 08096

Something Interesting About Ron Heil and Gary Nolan’s Story…
Founding Philly Pretzel Factory was exciting for Dan DiZio and his buddy Len Lehman not just because of its eminent success, but also because it allowed them to turn their college friendship into a successful business partnership. When they started franchising, Dan and Len were able to employ some of their other close friends from college, including Ron Heil, one of their fraternity brothers. Ron would go on to be a very successful franchisee, opening five Pennsylvania locations on his own and six more with his friend, Gary Nolan. Ron and Gary also opened two more locations in New Jersey, for a total of eight joint locations. Their success has inspired them to expand even further: the duo plans to eventually co-operate up to 12 locations in the area within the next few years.

What Ron Heil and Gary Nolan Did Before Philly Pretzel Factory
Before they got into the pretzel business, both Ron Heil and Gary Nolan had quite a bit of work experience. Ron was a high school teacher and a coach, while Gary was the manager of a family-owned construction company, a position he still holds today. In fact, while Ron tends to his other franchises, Gary splits his time between the family contracting business and the Philly Pretzel stores.

Why Ron Heil and Gary Nolan Love Being Philly Pretzel Factory Franchisees…
Ron and Gary love being Philly Pretzel Factory franchisees because it allows them to enjoy daily interactions with customers, not to mention the chance to forge business partnerships with their friends. Furthermore, they stand behind their product, and have a great time doling out their delicious pretzels.

Community Involvement…
Community involvement is knit into the very fabric of Ron Heil and Gary Nolan’s franchise. With their delicious pretzels and their friendly, laid-back atmosphere, they have earned quite a loyal following, especially in the Philadelphia area, where the company was born. They’ve won numerous awards since opening their first joint pretzel shop in 2005. Ron and Gary continually donate to schools and sports teams, and strive to give back as much as possible to a community that has always supported them, helping Philadelphia live up to its reputation as the city of brotherly love.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Philly Pretzel Factory Featured in Times of Trenton

The Times of Trenton just published an article called “They’re making a new kind of dough” about the Philly Pretzel Factory location in Ewing! The story discusses how Mark and Karen Cooper, the franchisees of that location, have ingrained their Philly Pretzel Factory location within the Ewing community and their recent expansion to Flemington. Part of the story is below and a link to the full story is here.

They're making a new kind of dough
By Matt Connolly

After years in the corporate world, Mark Cooper and his wife, Karen, decided to quit their well-paying but stressful jobs to make a new kind of dough.
"We got tired of the corporate grind," said Mark. "It seemed like a good time to look for something new."

The two Cherry Hill residents eventually decided to open a Philly Pretzel Factory location in Ewing. Mark said the pair wanted to work together, having not seen each other enough because of the time demands of their previous jobs, and also wanted to engage with customers.

"It's not easy, but it's far more rewarding," he said. "There's a lot of fun things you can do with pretzels."

From the beginning, the Coopers knew that community involvement was key to attracting customers. Before the store even opened in October 2007, they were out selling pretzels in the soccer fields behind the Parkway Avenue location.

"During soccer season it's a huge gathering place for the community," Mark said.

To view the full article click here.
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