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Artisanal Soft Pretzel Shop Opening in Crown Heights

By Sonja Sharp | October 9, 2013 9:39am
 Barella and Leon Kirkland will open their Philadelphia-style soft pretzel shop in Crown Heights on Oct. 12, 2013. 
Philadelphia-Style Pelzer's Pretzels Comes to Crown Heights
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CROWN HEIGHTS — Call it a twist of fate. 

After successful runs at DeKalb Market and Smorgasburg, the bakers behind Pelzer's Pretzels set out in search of a kitchen to support their growing business — and wound up with a full storefront instead.

"Initially we were just looking for a commercial kitchen," said baker Barella Kirkland, who started making the Philadelphia-style soft pretzels and pretzel sandwich buns last year with her husband, Leon.

"We were getting robbed trying to rent a kitchen by the day. It didn’t even occur to us to have a retail space," she said.

As luck would have it, they stumbled upon 724 Sterling Place, where the pair will open their first retail store on Saturday.

Moving into the storefront just steps from Bedford Avenue is something of a homecoming for the Philly-born bakers, who recently moved to Bed-Stuy from Crown Heights.

Pelzer's Pretzels will be open only on weekends and Mondays to start, but Kirkland said they hope to expand their hours. 

"We’ll be serving our soft pretzels, coffee and silly regional snacks that are sometimes hard to find outside of Philly," Kirkland said. "Eventually we’re going to use our buns to make sandwiches."

Those buns have been a big hit with foodies around the borough, Kirkland said. When The Meat Hook in Williamsburg served its hotdogs on Pelzer's buns at a recent event, people were "going a little crazy over them," Kirkland said.

"It’s so much better than just a regular hamburger bun," Kirkland said. "It has that delicious pretzel flavor, just like our soft pretzel."

Kirkland said she was pleased to see how Crown Heights has changed since she left.

"It’s an area that’s growing and transitioning," she said. "There’s nothing like what we’re doing over there."