Fortune Magazine – Auntie Anne’s: Soft pretzels out of hard times

'15 07-08 Fortune Magazine - Anne Feature Pic

An unlikely entrepreneur, “Auntie” Anne Beiler endured family tragedy — then created a multimillion-dollar chain.

When Anne Beiler bought a stand in a weekly Pennsylvania farmers’ market, her ambitions were modest. The founder and CEO of Auntie Anne’s started the company after enduring personal and family trauma. Today it’s the largest soft-pretzel franchise in the world, and its 1,200 outlets can be found in malls, airports, and boardwalks in 26 countries. Auntie Anne’s is now owned by Focus Brands, and it generated sales of $410 million in 2012. Beiler, 64, grew up in an Amish community and credits that upbringing for much of her success. Her story in her own words: My parents were… (click here for full story…)