The Hidden Truth About The Real Auntie Anne

Who doesn't know about and salivate over Auntie Anne's Pretzels, the much-loved brand that has been delighting its customers since 1988? What isn't as well-known is the story of Anne Belier, also referred to as Auntie Anne, the enterprising founder of Auntie Anne's Pretzels. The entrepreneur had humble beginnings and started with very little back in the 1980s. Her motivation behind selling pretzels in her neighborhood wasn't to build a famous brand. Anne was trying to help her husband, Jonas, fund a counseling center.

As per the Auntie Anne Beiler website, after losing their toddler in an accident, Anne and Jonas struggled to communicate, and Anne ended up in an abusive relationship with a pastor who exploited her grief. Anne and Jonas sought counseling to repair their relationship, and Jonas decided to open a counseling center for others in pain. So Anne ended up selling pretzels. She started small and got herself a spot at a local farmer's market in Pennsylvania. As per the Huffington Post, initially, she offered several items, including pizza, stromboli, and of course, pretzels. The pretzels weren't doing well at first but Jonas intervened and changed the recipe a little bit, and they became incredibly popular. That was the beginning of Auntie Anne's Hand Rolled Soft Pretzels.

Auntie Anne used her tragic backstory to reach out to others

While the brand unexpectedly took off and was a roaring international success, Anne was fighting her own battle, trying to make sense of her inner demons. She started opening up about her experiences with the public, being vulnerable, and expressing intimate details from her tough journey. Her story has been turned to a book, Twist of Faith, which was published in 2008. 

Anne is deeply grateful for being able to use her brand to reach out to others in distress and strengthen the bond she shares with her husband, Jonas, who stayed with her through thick and thin."The purpose of Auntie Anne's clearly was to make money to help people," Anne told The Huffington Post. "It's not always about money. My husband gave me life." Moreover, the entrepreneur is acutely aware of the fact that her business was a lucky accident. "Auntie Anne's is a modern-day business miracle that never should have happened. I had no formal education, capital, or business plan," she told Fortune. "If you stay true to your values and purpose, you will get to profit."