The Twisty Tale of America’s Oldest Pretzel Bakery: Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery

Sturgis Pretzel Bakery sign

Are you a fan of pretzels? If so, you’ll be fascinated by the story of the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, the first commercial pretzel bakery in the United States.

The bakery’s story began in 1850 when Julius Sturgis owned a bread business. A chance meeting with a homeless man, changed Sturgis’ fate. The man traded a pretzel recipe for a meal, causing Sturgis to add pretzels to his offerings. By 1861, these twisty treats had gained so much popularity that Sturgis pivoted entirely to pretzel-making. Thus, he launched the country’s first commercial pretzel business.

But there’s more than just pretzels to this story. The building housing the bakery has its own historical significance. Built in 1784 by Peter Kreiter, it’s one of the original structures in Lititz. Kreiter built the house with stones from the streets and timber from the surrounding forest.

Today, you can tour this iconic bakery. There, you’ll learn the art of pretzel twisting and watch bakers handcraft old-fashioned soft pretzels. After the short tour, shop for delicious treats and souvenirs. It’s a slice of American history you can taste!

So, the next time you munch on a pretzel, remember you’re enjoying a snack that has been part of America’s culinary landscape for more than 160 years. And don’t forget to thank to the pioneering efforts of Julius Sturgis and his enduring family legacy.

Know Before You Go

Check out the website below to reserve your tour. You will pay upon arrival. Tours last about 30 minutes. Thus, the Sturgis Pretzel Bakery is a good option for kids. Plus, they get to learn how to twist a pretzel!

Getting there: 219 E Main St, Lititz, PA
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday noon – 4 p.m. Closed major holidays.
Website: Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery

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