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Philly Pretzel Factory to enter Long Island market with first store in Bellmore

The Philly Pretzel Factory is opening its first

The Philly Pretzel Factory is opening its first Long Island location, in Bellmore. Credit: Philly Pretzel Factory

The city of Brotherly Love is coming to Long Island, with a twist.

The Philly Pretzel Factory, a well-known regional chain of pretzel stores in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, will open its first Long Island location on Jerusalem Avenue in Bellmore.

They have the hit show "Undercover Boss" to thank.

Joe Russo, 36, of Islip, who owns the local franchise, said he turned to Philly Pretzel Factory after seeing the company's chief executive, Dan DiZio, on an episode of the show.

"I always wanted to start my own pretzel store, and after seeing that show, I reached out," Russo said. "I went to Philadelphia, saw a store, and felt very comfortable. They had someone help with construction, and they had someone help find the right real estate too. They've been very supportive."  

Russo, who is a New York City firefighter stationed in the Bronx, said Long Island needs stores such as his new venture, which he hopes to open by the end of May.

"You can't find a pretzel store unless you go into a mall," Russo said. "Philly Pretzel Factory is a name brand. We will bring classic, soft pretzels customized with different mustards, creams and more to the area."

The Philadelphia-based chain has one New York store. It's on Staten Island. 

The company has about 150 franchised locations nationwide, and opened 22 new stores in 2014, including some in Walmart locations. It said it hopes to add up to 20 stores on Long Island by 2017. 


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