In 1994, two marketing executives from Nestle sat down at a bar in Seattle and penned a business plan for a pretzel joint on the back of a napkin. More than 20 years later, Bill Phelps and Rick Wetzel have built an empire.
"We wanted to be the Ben & Jerry's of the pretzel business," Phelps said. "And we wanted to be the creative ones, we wanted to have the new ideas, we wanted to have the fun irreverent marketing."
Wetzel's Pretzels is known for its innovative flavors — Jalapeno Cheese Melt, Almond Crunch and Pepperoni Twist, among others — and Phelps says the company has logged seven straight years of same-store sales growth.