We are back in SoCal after our weekend getaway to Reno and Tahoe. I'm gonna be completely honest and straightforward with you guys...
This was not a favorite trip by far. There were things about it that made me sort of hate the trip - ya know social drama. And thus instead of like with some trips that it might be a bit of a bummer to be back home, on this trip I was counting down the hours!
I will spare you the nitty gritty details and negativity. Instead, I will share with you a only few hours where I had any joy during this journey...
A DAY TRIP FROM RENO TO TAHOE
The original plan was for a big group to go up to Sand Harbor Beach - which is quite a beautiful place!!
However as we arrived to Tahoe there were big signs with flashing lights that made it very clear that the Sand Harbor parking lot was CLOSED!
Okaaaay well there goes that plan... At least for the gang in my car. Instead we got a recommendation from a local that suggested going to Speedboat Beach.
Lake Tahoe is known for being COLD but boy was it hot out that the frigid temperatures were actually quite welcomed.
The next thing up was the one thing about this trip that I was looking forward to...
Truckee River Floating
The river float was fun and I'd do it again!
The rest of the weekend...ehhhh not so much.
I've got some Monday errands to run. I'll see ya back here on Wednesday.
A big Happy Monday to you!
These weeks are just rushing by and summer along with them.
I've even noticed that ever so slightly, it's beginning to get a tad bit darker earlier with each week that goes by. Not to worry, we still have sunlight for long hours for a bit!
This past weekend, Tanya and I were chatting up a storm as she took a short weekend trip to Reno, Nevada, that included a daycation trip to Lake Tahoe, where she enjoyed some water rafting on the Truckee River. I'm sure she is going to give you the inside skinny on that on her Scoop!
As for me, I had the pleasure of meeting with a young franchise owner here on Long Island last week, and today I'm excited to tell you all about his business and some exciting future plans he has. As you might have guessed from today's title, this franchise has something to do with Pretzels!!
Philly Pretzels on Long Island
Young Entrepreneur Set to Open Second Philly Pretzel Factory Location!
After moving into my new neighborhood of West Hempstead a few months ago, I received some “welcome to the neighborhood” coupons. One of these was for “Philly Pretzel Factory” (PPF) in the nearby Long Island town of Franklin Square. As a HUGE pretzel lover, I made my way over as fast as I could and was more than delighted with what I found! Soft, fresh, hot and oh, so tasty, these uniquely shaped pretzels won over the taste buds and tummies of my family trio!
I also had an opportunity to chat one-on-one to the franchise owner of this intimate establishment and get the full “411” on his business and his plans for the near future.
As my followers know, I have an especially warm spot for young entrepreneurs, as they personify everything that is great about our country and the opportunities that are available for creative, hard working, risk-taking individuals.
Michael Calazzo, the twenty-something owner and manager of the Franklin Square PPF stepped into the pretzel business in December, 2018 from a former career as a licensed plumber in his family’s successful plumbing business. Working alongside his father and older brothers for close to a decade, Michael, with the help and encouragement of his Dad, decided to take a leap of faith and venture into a new enterprise.
I was curious as to how such an undertaking came about. Michael credits his dad with the idea of branching out beyond their flourishing mostly-commercial plumbing business after seeing a Philly Pretzel Factory in Bellmore, Long Island. He approached his son and Michael perked up at the idea and proudly declared that he has loved every minute of it since making the decision to become a franchisee.
The storefront is intimate and cozy with the bulk of the space dedicated to the preparation of those beloved pretzels. I was taken on a very enjoyable tour of PPF’s pretzel making process from start to finish! What’s more, I learned that what sets PPF apart from other well-known pretzel franchises is that their pretzels are made from scratch, comprised of only ingredients - flour, water, yeast and whey. Many other pretzel retailers get the dough and simply roll and bake. The difference is, of course, the freshness factor. "The #1 reason people should come to Philly Pretzel Factory is because they are made fresh, with no added ingredients." Nothing frozen and nothing sitting around at PPF!
After the twisting process, pretzels and other offerings are kept on trays in the refrigerator, ready to get baked and served up fresh for their customers.
From the Mixing Station to the Twist Zone, the dough is then sent on a journey through a specially designed machine where it comes out as a straight string for hand twisting into the trademarked Philly pretzel shape or cut up for their bite sized “rivets.” The dough is also used to make their other pretzel-based products like their pretzel dogs and their newest Cheeseburger bites, filled with ground beef and cheese.
Michael shared with me that since they first opened eighteen months ago, business was been booming. In fact, up until the covid-19 pandemic and subsequent quarantine, his store had a regular flow of customers and was supplying 14 local schools weekly with pretzels. “At $.50 each for the large pretzels, schools were still able to make a nice profit by selling them at $1.00, which is still a great price for the students” says Michael.
And lest we forget, PPF also has some kick-butt dipping sauces! Their current offering includes 12 flavors with Honey Mustard and Cheese being their best sellers and Brownie Batter and Cinnamon ranking very high as well.
We chatted a bit about how Michael's business was affected with the recent health crisis, and like other businesses around the country, and particularly on Long Island, PPF Franklin Square was severely impacted. Since mid-March, their sales were down 50% but Michael decided to ride out the storm and never closed his doors.
He shared with me that he owed too much to his loyal staff. Instead, he chose to shorten hours and keep a skeleton crew running things 7 days a week. He also ran a unique promotion via social media during the quarantine whereby he featured a different local Long Island “Town of the Day” each friday for seven weeks straight. On that day, whoever called in would receive 3 free pretzels delivered to their home.
Michael said it was a great success and the news spread by word of mouth. "This promotion allowed us to give back during this difficult time and also keep Philly Pretzel Factory top of mind. We started off the first week delivering 300, then 500 the next and after that we were delivering roughly 1000 pretzels each friday for the remainder of the promotion."
So what's new for this young entrepreneur?
The opening of a second Philly Pretzel Factory location in the coming months in Lynbrook is in the works. This new space will be a bit larger and have a greater production capacity which will be advantageous on holidays like SuperBowl, July 4th and even Valentine's Day! "Our current space allows us to bake 2000 pretzels an hour, but on these celebratory holidays, the demand gets very high and we want to be able to accommodate our customers" says Michael.
For the franchise, Michael's new store opening will make the eighth store on Long Island, along with 1 store in Forest HIlls, Queens and 1 in Brooklyn, as of this writing.
We are so excited for this enterprising Long Islander and look forward to celebrating the opening of the new store. Currently, you can follow Michael's Franklin Store on Instagram @PhillyPretzelFactoryFS to keep up with his ongoing promotions!!
And that's a wrap for me folks on this glorious Monday!
Stay Safe and Stay Well,