Much like a pretzel, life is full of twists. And that rings true for the Caiazzo and Smith families: After a visit to a local pretzel shop, they're now the owners of a Philly Pretzel Factory in Franklin Square.
Anthony Caiazzo, who for more than 40 years has been a licensed plumber at fast food restaurants including McDonald's, Chipotle, Starbucks and Chick-fil-A, knew immediately after trying the pretzels at the factory's Bellmore location that this was a concept he wanted to explore with friends Debbie and Whittney Smith of Bellmore.
The three co-owners are helming the spot, while Caiazzo's son Michael and daughter Christine will take on managerial duties. Another son, Joe, appears as the brand's mascot, Phil-E, and daughter-in-law Amanda has already started handling social media for the business.
The 1,000-square-foot shop, which occupies the former space of Body & Beauty Day Spa (next door to Puppy Love,) offers signature pretzels, pretzel dogs, cinnamon pretzel twists and rivets, and spicy pretzel sausages. Customers can also customize their pretzels and choose from among nine dipping sauces: yellow mustard, spicy brown mustard, super hot mustard, honey mustard, cinnamon, butter cream, chocolate, Cheddar cheese and ketchup. Seasonal dips will be offered, as well. Drinks will include strawberry lemonade and mango slushies.
New York City firefighter Joe Russo opened Long Island's first Philly Pretzel Factory, in Bellmore, followed by a Massapequa location. He anticipates opening four more Long Island locations, in Deer Park, Islip, Lindenhurst and Patchogue. Another separately owned location is scheduled to open in Syosset early in the new year. According to the company's official website, a Smithtown store is also in the works.
Philly Pretzel Factory is open Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Philly Pretzel Factory is at 197 Franklin Ave. in Franklin Square; 516-407-3300, phillypretzelfactory.com