Pretzel: Pretty in Pink to Owning

From brand designer and lover of Pretzel: Pretty in Pink to owning three stores in less than two years, Perth-based Brittany Garbutt is revamping the pretzel, swathing it in pink and achieving everything she ever wanted.

To create your own business doing something you love is an enormous achievement in itself, yet Brittany Garbutt of Pretzel has all that and is branching further out still.

With three Pretzel stores in Perth under her belt, Brittany plans to extend to Melbourne and Brisbane in the next few years, and is storming ahead with fresh ideas about design, display and pretzels that are simply to die for.

The idea of Pretzel came about due to a combination of factors. A brand designer by trade, Brittany had always wanted to design her own business and brand. Discovering an opening in the market in Perth for quality pretzels and after encouragement from a co-worker and friend, Brittany came up with the Pretzel concept. Playing around with her own recipes and discovering the best methods of pretzel making kept her going until the first Pretzel store opened in Northbridge in March 2017.

The converted shipping container – painted pastel pink and incorporating a full-size bakery inside – stood out among the other storefronts but came with its fair share of teething problems.

“There were more downs than anything. I was a naïve, little child,” Brittany says.

“We started out in the middle of Northbridge and didn’t even have a water connection. So, initially, Pretzel really was: ‘Here’s a problem, how are we going to solve it?’”

But solve it she did.

Working 19-hour days, seven days a week for an entire year, Brittany managed to get Pretzel off of the ground and into the hearts of locals. The pink colour scheme and large, golden-brown pretzels became a sensation on social media.

Brittany’s drive to spread the pretzel: pretty in pink love far and wide sparked the idea of opening other stores. She wanted to extend Pretzel’s reach past her local community, realising more opportunities existed beyond Northbridge. Thanks to the store’s growing fan club and more than 15,000 followers on social media, another two pink shipping containers popped up in Whitfords and Carousel. Suddenly, Brittany had three stores to her name in less than two years.

Brittany attributes much of Pretzel’s success to her passionate staff, who she lovingly refers to as her “Pretzel family”.

“Most of my staff are quite young,” she says.

“We have a very tight bond. We are a close family and I’m a little bit of a role model for them.

“I truly believe that if you are doing anything at all in this world, it should be the best it can be.”

pretzel pretty in pink  pretzel pretty in pink

Brittany wants to bring the pretzel out of the association name funk.

“The pretzels [most people are familiar with] tend to be truck stop or train station-style, old, kind of gross things,” she explains.

“But the pretzels we ate when we were kids were made by family owned businesses. They cared so much about their product and the pretzels were of a really high standard. I wanted to care that much about my product, too.”

What makes Pretzel’s baked goods different is the preparation. Traditional, German-style pretzels are boiled with preservatives and additives added to extend their shelf-life.

Brittany decided to go preservative and additive-free, preparing her pretzel dough from scratch by making batches to order.

Made onsite, hand-rolled and fresh from the oven, Brittany describes them as “more of an America-style pretzel”. They skip the boiling step and instead bake them at higher temperatures, coating them in a water-bath solution that gives them their colour. Brittany’s pretzel makers spend up to six months learning to roll and make pretzels to her quality standard (the knot is the most important part of the pretzel, she says).

There are options for loaded pretzels, too. A simple cinnamon sugar or glaze extends to a salted caramel concoction and for those with a super sweet tooth, a coconut fluff – pink marshmellow and toasted coconut.

Savoury lovers can also mix with the sweettooths, adding pepperoni and bacon to their pretzels or if they can’t decide, get one with the lot! A pretzel with three cheeses (cheddar, ‹‹and parmesan), topped with bacon and jalapeño.

With a significant menu But what gives these twisted goods their standout vote in both the baking world and on social media is their on-trend vegan recipe.

Brittany has also made sure Pretzel: Pretty in pink is involved with the local community. Store staff are often involved in school holiday activities, and the thriving online community keeps the vibe fun.

The next big step for Brittany is scheduled for October, with the grand opening of Pretzel’s first Melbourne store. Following that, Brittany hopes to further Pretzel’s reach to Adelaide and Brisbane, taking over the country one pink box at a time.

Clearly, Brittany’s background in brand design, her can-do attitude and passion for quality pretzels seems to be the perfect solution for a pretzel revival like no other in Australia.

Watch out world… As it says on Pretzel’s trademark pink coffee cups, ‘Hot stuff coming through’.

 pretzel pretty in pink

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