Roy Arguelles and Ken Anderson, longtime friends and colleagues, always knew they wanted to open an eatery together. The local men—from Smithtown and Bellmore, respectively—had worked together at Computer Associates, now CA Technologies, but knew even then that they wanted to find a way to work together more. What, they wondered, would make sense to open on Long Island?
Then, in 2015, Philly Pretzel Factory opened its doors in Bellmore and Anderson became an early customer, bringing trays of the franchise’s signature pretzel rods and “rivets”—bite-sized pretzels—to parties at which Arguelles was also a guest.
“People would go crazy every time Ken brought a tray to a party,” says Arguelles. “So, after talking about it, I went to the store in Bellmore to try them, and I was like, ‘Wow.'”
The rest, as they say, is history.
On August 7, Arguelles and Anderson opened the first Suffolk County location of Philly Pretzel Factory in Smithtown, next to Ralph’s Italian Ices in a small shopping center on Maple Avenue. Their store is the fifth Philly Pretzel Factory outpost on Long Island.
“We’re both really excited,” says Arguelles. “The reception has been amazing. We broke every record in our opening week, from our number of transactions to our revenue.”
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Taste any of the store’s offerings and you’ll understand why. Because just as Long Island is (rightfully) celebrated for its pizza and bagels, Philadelphia is renowned for its cheesesteaks and pretzels—and at Smithtown’s Philly Pretzel Factory store, they’re bringing the Philly special to life.
Everything—from the pretzels themselves to specialty items like pretzel dogs and pretzel cheesesteaks—is made fresh daily. This means that, unlike the pretzels you’ll find at the mall, nothing here is slathered in butter to conceal its being a day or two old. Thanks to the store’s open layout, you can even watch as Philly Pretzel Factory team members twist, mix and bake the offerings of any given day.
“We also use a really high-end flour,” says Arguelles. “Our customers love it. Just the other day, we had a woman at the store who had traveled all the way from East Hampton just to try one of our $1 pretzels. She was originally from Philadelphia and she said it tasted just like home. So it’s really exciting for us. We love being a part of this community and it’s amazing to be able to provide this uniqueness to everyone.”
For more on Philly Pretzel Factory in Smithtown, please follow the store on Facebook.