Veterans Find Success with a Twist

New Centurion, LLC a franchise owner of three Philly Pretzel Factory stores is a proud first time sponsor to the Carlisle Barracks Oktoberfest.


The Factory’s owners consist of seven partners, all of whom are military veterans. Philly Pretzel Factory, which originated in Philadelphia in 1998, has over 150 locations predominately on the east coast.

Since 2015 the North Lebanon Township branch, which is considerably larger than a typical franchise, has operated as the business’s flagship store. It has approximately 20 menu items and a large stone oven, which allows support for fundraising and wholesale opportunities. On top of the traditional soft pretzel, they offer hot sausage pretzels, pretzel rivets (bite size pretzels), pepperoni pretzels, hot dog pretzels, cheese steak pretzels and several different Party Trays. In addition, the group also owns franchises located within the Lebanon and Shippensburg Walmart’s.

With Oktoberfest about to kick off October 8th at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, we sat down and discussed this local business with co-owner and retired Col. Allen Nelson, one of the area’s top entrepreneurs and military supporters.

How did New Centurion, LLC get started with the Philly Pretzel Factory franchise?
Four of our seven owners used to lived and/or work in the Philadelphia area and they would bring soft pretzels from Philadelphia to Fort Indiantown Gap to share with soldiers and friends. These soft pretzels were so popular that we decided to start a franchise relationship with Philly Pretzel Factory.

What makes Philly Pretzel Factory special?
We provide a quality fresh baked, “Hot Outta the Oven” pretzel ready to eat at a fair cost. The attention to detail is key, providing our customers and local community with a quality product is extremely important to us. All of our products are made fresh daily utilize quality ingredients and are served hot to each and every customer.

How has the ownerships military experience influenced your operations?
We have a diverse ownership team of experienced officers and enlisted veterans that have held numerous military positions in training, personnel, logistics, operations, marketing and food service. This has allowed us to excel in managing everything from long range planning to crisis management.

How does Philly Pretzel Factory stay involved in the community?
Our connection to the community is actually one of the reasons we have been able to grow despite a sluggish economy. A great example of our community involvement is, on our opening day at the Cumberland Street store we donated all proceeds to the PA Wounded Warrior program. As a small business we employee 20 people locally and offer fundraising opportunities to local school programs, sports teams and local activities. Furthermore, we offer a 10% discount to all veterans and first responders.

What’s your most popular menu item?
This varies store by store but our traditional soft pretzel is our staple product. In our Cumberland Street store we go through a lot of Party Trays, specialty pretzels like the Philly Cheesesteak Pretzel, and fundraising items. Our Lebanon Walmart store really goes through the hot dog pretzels and at our Shippensburg location they like the Cinnamon Pretzel and Rivets.

What’s next for New Centurion, LLC?
We are currently working to provide Philly Pretzel Factory products to several MWR facilities and events including Carlisle Barracks and at Fort Indiantown Gap.

What is New Centurion, LLC (Philly Pretzel Factory’s) goal for the future?
Our goal is to continue to grow, provide quality products, give back to the community and assist our local community activities with fundraising opportunities assisting our schools, sporting teams, churches and organizations to achieve their financial fundraising goals.

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