Auntie Anne's, based in Lancaster, is an American chain of pretzel shops founded by Anne Beiler and her husband, Jonas, in 1988. Auntie Anne's serves products such as pretzels, dips, and beverages. They also offer Pretzels & More Homemade Baking Mix. The chain has more than 1,500 locations around the world, in shopping malls and Walmart stores, as well as non-traditional retail spaces including universities, parking/rest areas, airports, travel plazas, amusement parks, and military bases. Their slogan as of 2010 is "Pretzel Perfect".
The chain started as a market stand in the Downingtown, Pennsylvania Farmer's Market in 1988. The franchise began when a store location opened at Saturday's Market in Middletown, Pennsylvania. Auntie Anne's celebrated their 100th store opening in Granite Run Mall, Media, Pennsylvania, in 1992. In 1995, the first train station location opened at Penn Station in New York City. This year also brought the opening of the first international Auntie Anne's store in Jakarta, Indonesia.
In October 2006, it was announced that the Auntie Anne's corporate headquarters would be relocated from the town of Gap, Pennsylvania to downtown Lancaster. The former site of the Lancaster Post Office was purchased and given minor renovations for about $7 million by Auntie Anne's, Inc. Constructed in 1927, the three-storey building stands on about 1.5 acres (6,100 m2). The building maintains the original 1920s features such as brass doors, high ceilings, and skylights. The Lancaster Post Office was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
In November 2010, Atlanta franchisor FOCUS Brands, a portfolio company of private equity firm Roark Capital, acquired Auntie Anne's. William P. Dunn Jr. was the company's president and its chief operating officer from 2013 to 2015. Heather Leed Neary became the company's president in 2015.
Auntie Anne's now has over 600 international locations, including many across Europe, namely Greece, Russia, Northern Ireland and the UK. As long ago as 2004, there were 17 locations in Sydney, Australia. Locations in Asia include Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Philippines, Brunei, Turkey and Thailand, while in the Americas there are sites in Honduras, the Bahamas, Mexico, Chile, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala and Brazil. In addition, there is a store in South Africa. There are plans to start stores in China.
From 1999 through 2009, Auntie Anne's and its franchisees partnered to donate more than $4.5 million to local children's hospitals across the country through the Children's Miracle Network. Auntie Anne's has also supported the pediatric cancer charity Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation since 2011.
Auntie Anne's began a partnership with Food Donation Connection in 2011, matching stores throughout the country with local hunger relief organizations to donate extra pretzel products.
In 2013, Anne and Auntie Anne's was featured in the reality TV series Food Court Wars. Auntie Anne's founder Anne Beiler appeared in the 2013 season premier of the television show The Secret Millionaire in which she masqueraded as a volunteer at the Baltimore-based food non-profit organization Moveable Feast. She also made a donation to the charity.