If your last name is Wetzel, what else can you do but start a pretzel company? Wetzel's Pretzels (co-founded by Rick Wetzel) operates and franchises about 190 mall-based pretzel stands in more than 25 US states and five other countries (Canada, Lebanon, Mexico, the Philippines, and South Korea). The chain of snack outlets offers fresh-baked pretzels that are available in a variety of flavors, including garlic, cinnamon, and cheese. Wetzel's Pretzels was founded in 1994 and is owned by private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.
Wetzel's Pretzels was started when Rick Wetzel and CEO Bill Phelps opened the the first Wetzel's store in Redondo Beach, California. The company was acquired by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners in 2007. – less