by Marshall Ward
From the buttery crust to the crunch of salt to the chewy middles, Grandpa’s Soft Pretzels are a longtime favourite at the St. Jacobs’ Farmers’ Market.
The pretzels at Grandpa’s have been made the same way for 26 years, and it’s a recipe that actually goes back many generations.
“We bought this business from the Mennonite people who brought this idea from Pennsylvania,” explains Joseph Sinicki, who runs Grandpa’s Soft Pretzels with his wife Viola. “So the recipe that we use, it’s a Pennsylvanian pretzel.”
Located in Peddler’s Village, Grandpa’s Soft Pretzels are fresh, warm, and made right in front of market visitors.
“It’s a very nice dough, not too heavy, not too light,” says Joseph. “The recipe that we use is very basic. See, we don’t use additives, we don’t use preservatives, and that is why they don’t last long, we expect our customers to eat them within a suitable time.”
And people who grew up enjoying Grandpa’s Soft Pretzels are now bringing their own children for the quintessential market treat.
“There was an instance where the little girl who used to buy our pretzels, actually worked for us for a few years,” says Joseph.
Even on the busiest of market days, when customers line up for their pretzels, Viola keeps up with the demand.
“My wife has been the pillar of this business, she knows how to make them, especially when we have a large crowd,” says Joseph.
“It is very difficult for some people to understand how we can make enough pretzels for an entire market day, and make them fresh, when the customers just keep coming and coming. But we’re very thankful and the people who keep us going are the ones who come year after year. They know our pretzels, they comment so nicely, and we appreciate their commitment to our product.”