At age 30, Gerald B. Shreiber was working at a factory job to make ends meet for his young family—until a “twist” of fate changed his life forever. It all began in 1971 when he struck up a conversation with a salesman in a mattress store who told him about an auction for a failing soft pretzel company. Shreiber decided to attend the auction and ended up purchasing the assets of J&J Pretzel Co. for $72,100. He left court on September 27, 1971, as a new business owner with eight employees, decrepit baking equipment and a poor-selling product.
Following the auction, Shreiber immediately set to work coming up with creative ways to market the soft pretzel as the next big snack item. Before he knew it, the SUPERPRETZEL® Soft Pretzel was born. The rest is history. Over the course of the next four decades, he would go on to turn the weakened manufacturer with less than $400,000 in sales into a publicly traded snack food and beverage powerhouse approaching $1 billion in annual revenue.
The story of J&J Snack Foods Corp. began—and continues today—with the soft pretzel. The company is the largest manufacturer of soft pretzels in the world with a wide range of delicious varieties sold under a number of recognizable brand names, including SUPERPRETZEL® Soft Pretzels, Federal® Pretzel, Bavarian Bakery, Pretzel Fillers® and Kim & Scott’s® Gourmet Soft Pretzels.
Success in the soft pretzel business has also given way to the expansion of products in other sectors, such as snack foods, baked goods, frozen novelties and frozen beverages. The company’s evolving portfolio includes the iconic ICEE® and SLUSH PUPPIE frozen beverages, LUIGI’S® Real Italian Ice, MINUTE MAID frozen juice bars and ices, WHOLE FRUIT sorbet and frozen fruit bars, THE FUNNEL CAKE FACTORY funnel cakes, TIO PEPE’S CHURROS, CALIFORNIA CHURROS, OREO® Churros, Mary B’s Biscuits, Country Home Bakers, Readi-Bake Cookies and Breads and a bountiful family of other tasty treats, such as stuffed sandwiches, fruit pies, cookies, bars and biscuits.
OREO is a registered trademark of Mondelez International group, used under license.
Minute Maid is a registered trademark of The Coca-Cola Company