Successful first year for Auntie Anne's Pretzels

Auntie Anne's Pretzels is to celebrate its first year of successful trading in Northern Ireland, by opening 12 new franchised outlets across Northern and the Republic of Ireland. Auntie Anne's aims to have seven outlets open by August 2010. The new franchised outlets will create at least 100 jobs in Northern Ireland and up to 70 jobs in the Republic of Ireland. Priority territories include: Belfast; Newtownards; Londonderry; Newry; Craigavon; Bangor and Dublin.

Franchise owner for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland Stephen Downey said: "We are absolutely delighted with our first year of trading. The brand has been tried-and-tested and the response to the product has been fantastic. Belfast taste buds have clearly given Pretzels "a huge thumbs up" and we expect the rest of Ireland to follow suit.

"For many, their first taste of a pretzel is on the streets of New York - we want to give everyone the opportunity to savour the warmth and comfort that a freshly baked Pretzel can deliver! We are also finding that they have been a hit with tourists who are enjoying the novelty and convenience of trying one as they tour the city.

"What a franchise owner can expect from opening an Auntie Anne's outlet, is a chance to run their own business with the support, guidance and training that comes with a global brand. While many business start-ups face the challenges of raising finance, in this case the bank is ready to support the right candidates, as the support network is so strong.

"This is the perfect time to get involved at the very beginning of what promises to be a fantastic business opportunity, and with a unique product. The negotiations are well underway with the landlords of the regional shopping centres. The next stage of the process is to meet with suitable candidates who want to become their own boss and have the level of liquid capital required."