Amish-inspired soft pretzel bakery Ben's Soft Pretzels has targeted the Milwaukee area as the future home to 15 new locations by 2021.
The bakery, which offers preservative-free pretzels baked on-site daily, already has two locations operating in Waukesha County. The company is looking for multi-unit operators to own 10-15 locations or more.
The growth aligns with the company's national expansion efforts, which includes more than 20 new stores in development for 2016. The franchise has targeted locations inside enclosed regional malls; select lifestyle and open-air venues; and Wal-Mart and Meijer stores.
When asked if Mayfair mall or Wauwatosa's new Meijer store were being considered for Ben's Soft Pretzels locations, the company's CEO Scott Jones said the company is "increasingly finding unique real estate opportunity's in certainly primary and secondary markets but also in tertiary markets.
"The quality of the offerings in conjunction with the simplicity and affordable economics yields a tremendous degree of flexibility with respect to viable locations for our brand and valued franchise partners."
Jones said an important part of the growth equation is having solid franchise partners.
"Our intent will be to keep the ownership as local as possible and allow them to make the ultimate judgement call on real estate," he said. "However, that said, we have and will continue to build 'turnkey' opportunities that we will build and operate until we find the correct partner to award the opportunity to."
About 15 managerial positions, 60 line workers and one executive area manager position are expected to be created with the new growth.
Ben's Soft Pretzels has 75 locations in eight states. All the pretzels are hand rolled with imported German salt. The bakeries also offer Buggy Bites, Pretzel Stix, Pretzel Dogs and Pretzel Pockets with 11 different gourmet dipping sauces.
The cost to open a Ben’s Soft Pretzels bakery would range from $118,500-$332,000, according to a news release from the company.