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Tom Sturgis Pretzel Factory Store, Schillington, PA Big Snack Attack! Schillington, PA

Posted on: April 29, 2010

Staying on the theme of tasty treats in the Reading PA area, I’m always powerless to resist the pull of the Tom Sturgis Pretzel Factory Store, located in Shillington, PA. Salty, sweet, crunchy pretzels in abundance, with neat pretzel related memorabilia on display and for purchase, we just had to stop there with the Retro Roadkids (and I knew their Retro Roadmom would love it too!)

Retro Roadkids and Tom Sturgis

This factory location has “only” been here since 1970 but the the first American commercial pretzel bakery was founded by Julius Sturgis in Lititz, PA in 1861. Marriott D. “Tom” Sturgis, grandson of Julius, founded the Tom Sturgis Pretzel Company in 1946. Julius is credited with developing crispy / hard pretzel (versus soft pretzels, which are also pretty popular in this region of Pennsylvania) but I’m not sure if the oversized pine cone pretzel (as shown below) ever really took off… 😉
Pine Cone Pretzel
The shop at the pretzel factory is a cheery place filled with tasty treats from the Sturgis factory as well as snacks from other local producers – we ended up with a bag of Babs’ Carmel Corn and two types of Dieffenbach’s Old Fashioned Potato Chips along with the other pretzel booty in our bags.

Isn’t vacation, or someone else’s vacation, the perfect excuse to eat great quantities of tasty snacks? You bet! Not sure of what type of pretzel you might want to take home? There’s a great bit lazy susan with plenty of samples, just use the tongs!

Lazy Susan Pretzel Sampler

Along with the boxes and bags and cartons of pretzels and pretzel-abilia I was thrilled to see the display of vintage Tom Sturgis Pretzel Tins.

Tom Sturgis Vintage Pretzel Tins
Better yet I was pleased to see that they still offer a new version of their classic tin, that has that old timey feel at an affordable price ($4.25 empty). I added one to our bag to give to Retro Roadmom as a reminder of our fun day with the Retro Roadkids in the Reading area. (I already have one, we keep Retro Roaddog treats in it!)

Tom Sturgis Pretzel Tins

We came home with waaay too many treats, and as I type this I’m probably getting BBQ flavored pretzel bit crumbs all over the keyboard. They are truly addictive! As is the dangerously delicious Brittle Bark made with popcorn, pretzels, toffee and drizzled with chocolate. I had that for breakfast, I could not help it!

Tom Sturgis Factory StoreI love the fact that the Tom Sturgis Pretzel Company is still family owned and located here in the USA. And how cool is it that they have a factory store we can buy from, happy red and yellow box trucks, oversized pretzels and a cheery Tom to pose by for vacation snapshots? A true roadside delight!


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  • Margaret Gunning

    I remember buying Rold Gold pretzel sticks in a little box wrapped in cellopane, a small flat box where you could see the pretzels all neatly lined up. This cost 5 cents. Am I crazy? No one else remembers this or believes it could have been so cheap. This was probably in the early ’60s. I still love them. I would love to see a collector’s box of these. Do you know of any info?

    • Margaret, unfortunately I don’t have any info, but let us know if you come up with anything!

    • cam

      I used to buy them way back. The box was blue with maybe some white. They were all nice and neat with cellophane around them. They were also very salty.

  • michele w.

    I remember the thin pretzel sticks in the little individual boxes wrapped in cellophane too.And yes they were very salty and we used to slide our fingers up and down each stick to remove the salt.I used to still see them in the dollar store a few years back and nobody sell them now

    • Michele – isn’t it funny the things we remember about the snacks we had as kids. I swear recently I saw those little boxes of pretzels somewhere, maybe the grocery store? My mind is picturing them as Bachmans. I’ll be on the lookout and if I see them – if they still exist- I’ll snap a photo!

  • We at Tom Sturgis Pretzels are glad you enjoyed your visit to our store and thank you for such nice comments. We are proud to still be family owned and operated producing high quality pretzels in stone hearth ovens.

    • Becca – Tom Sturgis is one of Retro Roadmap’s fave places to visit! Thanks for keeping the tradition alive!