Amidst beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch Country in historic Lititz is the country’s first pretzel bakery, Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery. Handmade soft pretzels are baked in the historic facility, with the main production facility of Tom Sturgis Pretzels i in Reading PA. The same recipe Julius starting pretzel baking in 1861 is still used today.
After a tour of the original bakery visitors receive a lesson in pretzel twisting. Dough is given to each participant after watching an experienced baker’s hand twisting the old-fashioned soft pretzels to teach twisting their own pretzels.
A bakery store has delicious treats and souvenirs that may be purchased to take home. A comprehensive selection of pretzels includes Dutch, hard, thin, Honey Mustard, Onion, hot Cheese, Sesame and Cinnamon & Sugar flavor. There are chocolate covered pretzels for sweet lovers.
Sturgis Pretzel House has historic roots before its use as a commercial pretzel bakery Peter Kreiter built the building in 1784, one of the original structures in Lititz. It was built from stones from nearby woods and streets. Windows were used to fire muskets against native Indian attacks.
Pretzels have a long historic past but their origin is uncertain. One story is of Italians monks in 610 AD using scraps of dough formed to shape children’s praying arms with three holes symbolizing the Christian Trinity.
Pennsylvania remains the center of American pretzel production, for both soft bread and hard crispy types. The state produces 80% of the nations pretzels, over $550 million annually. The annual consumption of pretzels averages nearly 1.5 pounds per American. April 26th was declared ‘National Pretzel Day’ by Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell.
Operational Hours Monday - Saturday
January – March 15
10:30 AM – 3:30 PM
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
March 16- December 31
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Closed New Years Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas
219 East Main Street
Lititz is a borough 6 miles north of Lancaster, with routes 501 and 772 intersecting within its limits. Moravian Church Members founded Lititz in 1756. Lancaster was the largest inland city in the Colonies during the Revolutionary War with a current population of 59,322.
Lititz PA is a 5 hour drive of 286 miles from Rochester NY. Drive south on route 15 past the state border into Pennsylvania through Williamsburg, and Lewistown into Harrisburg. Exit onto US 76, then south on route 501 to the museum.
Here is a visitors insight into the tour
“Make your own pretzel is lots of fun! Make sure you buy a soft pretzel before you go you will want two.”