Smales Pretzel Bakery expanding production, seeking retailers

Would you like to see Smales Pretzel Bakery‘s hard pretzels on a retail shelf near you?

The longtime family-owned Dayton pretzel company has recently doubled its production of hard pretzels, so they’re looking for a few more regional retailers interested in selling them, owner Emma Smales said.

Emma is the fifth generation to own Smales Pretzel Bakery. The company was started by her great great grandfather in 1906. She moved home to Dayton from California in July 2015 to take over the bakery from her father. She runs it with her husband, Joe — he oversees day-to-day operations, she handles the admin and marketing pieces, while also working full-time in the public health sector.

At Smales Pretzel Bakery, the hard and soft pretzels use the same ingredients, but different processes, Emma explained. Traditionally, her family would work to produce both hard and soft pretzels in the same eight-hour workday — but that’s hard to do while you’re stopping to talk to customers who are popping in & out to buy soft pretzels, she said.

Emma & Joe have shifted that workflow — now they make soft pretzels all morning, so they’re fresh for customers during open hours. Then they can spend uninterrupted afternoons focusing just on making hard pretzels, she said.

“We’re making thousands of these pretzels at a time, and it’s very labor-intensive,” she said. “We’ve basically been able to double our hard pretzel production because because we have more time to make them.”

Currently, the bakery’s hard pretzels can be found on the shelves of all three Dorothy Lane Markets, Kramers, and two Arrow Wine locations.

“They been great, and we love it, so we want to add one or two more retailers int he same vein,” Emma said. “We want local, smaller-ish shops. We trust them to always sell our product with integrity.”

Folks have also encouraged her to expand geographically, Emma said, so she’d love to find a shop in Xenia or Try.

Smales Pretzel Bakery produces about 13K hard pretzels per week. If you have an idea of a new retailer for them, reach out at smalespretzels@gmail.com or call the bakery during business hours at (937) 253-7482.

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