Two Wetzel’s Pretzels shops are expected to open this year...

Two Wetzel’s Pretzels shops are expected to open this year on Long Island. Credit: Six Degrees LA

Wetzel's Pretzels will make a Long Island comeback as the nation’s second-largest pretzel chain plans an expansion in New York State.

Four new Wetzel’s Pretzels shops are expected to open this year in New York, including two on Long Island — one at Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream in late spring and one inside a Macy’s store  at the Roosevelt Field mall in Uniondale in the fall, according to the pretzel chain.

“I live on Long Island, and I think there is a big market on Long Island. There is a competitor there … inside the mall [s]. I think Wetzel’s has a better product, and I think we’ll do well in that market,” said Siddharth Kapur, who plans to open the two Long Island shops and one in Brooklyn under his Dream Snack of NY Inc. franchise company this year.

Wetzel’s Pretzels had a Long Island shop at Sunrise Mall in Massapequa that closed in January 2022 after 10 years because the troubled mall was no longer renewing tenants' leases.

A Pasadena, California-based chain founded in 1994, Wetzel’s specializes in soft pretzels and pretzel-wrapped hot dogs.

With about 400 locations that are mostly in the United States, including 10 in New York state, Wetzel's is the second-largest pretzel chain in the country after Auntie Anne’s, which has more than 1,950 locations in 28 countries.

Wetzel's hopes to double its  store count in the next several years and increase its number of New York stores to 20 by 2026, said Jon Fischer, head of development for Wetzel’s.

Quebec-based MTY Food Group Inc., whose more than 90 brands include the Cold Stone Creamery ice cream chain and Blimpie sub shops, bought Wetzel’s for $207 million in December 2022.

Wetzel’s is expanding into new and undersaturated markets, including New York state and Canada, Fischer said.

“We’re focused on growing in New York. I think we’ve had a lot of success in New Jersey,” he said.

Last year, Wetzel's opened a record number of stores, 40, about twice as many as was typical a few years ago, Fischer said. 

About 90% of the chain's stores are franchises, and the vast majority are inside shopping malls in the United States.

But Wetzel's is expanding in nontraditional ways, including opening stores inside Walmarts starting about a decade ago and kiosks inside Macy’s stores beginning in early 2022, and launching food trucks in 2020, Fischer said.

There are now about 30 Wetzel’s Pretzels stores inside Walmarts and six kiosks inside Macy’s, and about 25 food trucks, Fischer said.

Opening a pretzel shop inside Macy’s “is a way for us to get into a mall when we can’t find space in the mall. It really is a win-win for Macy’s because they can give their employees and customers a hot, fresh product in their location,” Fischer said.

Macy's has not confirmed that a Wetzel's will be in its Roosevelt Field store and does "not have any information to share at this time," a spokeswoman for Manhattan-based Macy's Inc. said Monday.

Kapur, an East Meadow resident, is the president of franchise companies that own five Wetzel’s Pretzels in New Jersey and one in Manhattan. 

His Wetzel’s planned for Green Acres Mall will occupy about 940 square feet next to Macy’s.

The shop planned for Roosevelt Field will occupy a 200-square-foot kiosk inside Macy’s, he said.

Kapur’s New York franchise company also plans to open a Wetzel’s in Brooklyn in a kiosk inside a Macy’s in late 2024, he said.

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