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blog home Buy a Franchise How a NYC Firefighter Started a Successful Pretzel Business

Not only does Joe Russo save lives, he can make a dang good pretzel, too. The New York City firefighter owns a Philly Pretzel Factory franchise in Bellmore, New York. He started the business earlier this year after he realized that there weren’t many places to grab a hot, fresh pretzel in the region. Today, when he’s not being a hero in the Big Apple, Joe Russo works on bringing high quality pretzels to the people of Long Island.

Opening a hot pretzel store had always been a dream of Joe Russo’s. He became inspired to make the dream a reality when he saw the CEO and co-founder of Philly Pretzel Factory Dan Dizio on a reality television series about business owners, called Undercover Boss. He reached out to the staff and spoke to them about growing the brand in New York. The rest, as they say, is history.

Russo estimates that he spent just under $250,000 to start the business: $104,500 for equipment, $99,800 for construction, $25,000 for the royalty fee, and $15,000 for miscellaneous expenses. Of course, getting the funds was only the beginning. Russo also did plenty of preliminary research – he read articles online, consulted multiple times with the corporate team, and even received advice from an owner of an independent pretzel store on Long Island.

Russo’s goal is to eventually have five to six stores on Long Island. He wants to see pretzel party trays at every wedding party, boat outing, office meeting, and other gatherings. He dreams that one day everyone will know him as “the pretzel guy.”

You may not have pretzel dreams like Joe Russo, but you share his ambition of growing a franchise into a successful business operation. However, ambition alone won’t take you anywhere – like Joe, you’ll need to do some research if you want your business to flourish. We highly recommend that you check out “An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Purchasing a Business or Franchise” to learn the best steps to take when purchasing a franchise.

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By Charles Internicola June 10, 2015

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