Ben’s Pretzels – Region natives open several restaurants throughout Northwest Indiana

Written by admin. Posted in Business Spotlight, Dining & Entertainment, Featured

Published on November 12, 2014 with No Comments

When Tom Noak tried his first pretzel from Ben’s Pretzels at the outlet mall in Michigan City, he knew the product was special. So special in fact, that he decided to become a franchise owner.

Noak and his wife Lisa first took over the Michigan City restaurant from corporate in March of 2013. After seeing an increase in sales, they opted to open their second franchise location in downtown Valparaiso in November of the same year.

In June of this year, they opened another restaurant in the La Porte Wal-Mart, and just opened their fourth franchise location on Oct. 14 in the Portage Meijer.

“When we opened the store in Valparaiso we weren’t expecting this quick of a growth, but it happened and when the opportunity presented itself to open in Portage we took advantage of it right away,” Noak said.

Noak said the opportunity to have a good amount of seating in the Portage restaurant, along with the fact that it would be located right by the entrance, were the most enticing aspects of the proposed site.

“It’s probably our prettiest store,” Noak said. “The Valparaiso location has that comfy feel to it being right in the downtown area, but the Meijer location has been a really nice surprise and it has exceeded our expectations so far.”

Prior to diving into the pretzel business, Noak and his wife had owned convenience stores in the area for more than 20 years. They sold their stores and moved to Las Vegas for about 10 years before deciding to go back into business for themselves.

Being natives of Northwest Indiana – Noak a graduate of Wheeler High School and his wife of River Forest High School – the two knew that they wanted to move back home and bring jobs to the region. Between the four restaurants they have opened throughout the area in less than two years, the Noaks have hired about 30 employees.

Noak said he knew Ben’s Pretzels presented the perfect opportunity to open a successful business that also gives back to the community because it is such a high quality product.

“What drew me to the product is when people say, ‘Man the pretzels are so big!’” he said. “It’s just such a fantastic product and it’s available at such a good price.”

The pretzels are prepared right in front of customers, who watch the top-of-the-line ingredients go from the mixer to the oven after the dough expands.

Their menu includes the “Legendary Jumbo” soft pretzel, pretzel bites and jumbo pretzel sticks, as well as a variety of sandwiches like the Jumbo Pretzel Dog and the Italian Pretzel Pocket. They also offer several shake-on toppings including cinnamon and sugar, sour cream and onion, garlic and parmesan cheese, with more coming soon. Their dipping sauces include cheddar cheese, nacho cheese, marinara, Amish sweet mustard, vanilla icing, cream cheese and caramel topping.

“I’m very excited about having the opportunity to open these stores,” Noak said. “People love the product so much, I just really didn’t fathom the response being this great.”

The Valparaiso restaurant is located at 151 Lincolnway and is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays. The Portage restaurant is located inside the local Meijer, 6050 U.S. Highway 6, and is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, as well as Sunday, and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

For the month of November, these Ben’s Pretzels locations are offering a special sale of three pretzels for $8 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Noak is expecting to host a grand opening celebration after the holidays for the Portage location.

For more information about Ben’s Pretzels, including fundraising opportunities, visit www.bensprestzels.com.

Ben’s Pretzels locations and hours:

Portage – Inside Meijer, 6050 U.S. Highway 6

11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m-7 p.m. Sun.

Valparaiso – 151 Lincolnway

11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Sat, closed Sun.

Special for month of November:

Three pretzels for $8 on Mon., Wed. and Thurs.


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