The Sturgis family has continuously baked pretzels since Julius founded his bakery in 1861.

Julius Sturgis

Julius Sturgis

In 1861, at the age of 26, Julius Sturgis purchased the house at 219 E. Main Street in Lititz and opened the first commercial pretzel bakery in America. Julius lived in the house with his family and added an addition to the house for his bakery.

Tom Sturgis

Tom Sturgis

In 1946, Marriott Sturgis, grandson to Julius Sturgis, established another bakery in Reading, PA, called Tom Sturgis Pretzels. In 1970, they moved the factory to Shillington, PA, a suburb of Reading, where they continue to operate today.

Sturgis Legacy Today

Sturgis Legacy Today

Sturgis is still the oldest pretzel baking family in America. Tom Sturgis and his son Bruce now run the business, with other family members helping to manage both Tom Sturgis Pretzels and the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery.

Julius Sturgis’ Historic Location

Julius Sturgis’ Historic Location

In addition to being the site of America's first commercial pretzel bakery, the building at 219 E. Main Street holds an even longer history. Built in 1784 by Peter Kreiter, the house is one of the original structures in Lititz. The sturdy stone house was built from stones dug from the street itself and timber hewed from the surrounding forest. The home has musket firing windows in the cellar to ward off attacks from Native Americans, while the interior included beautifully carved wooden panels on the staircase, heavy wooden doors on iron strap hinges, and plank pegged floors. The Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Be a Part of the History

The Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery is located in historic Lititz, Pennsylvania, in the middle of beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Visitors can tour the original pretzel bakery, get a hands-on lesson in pretzel twisting, observe our bakers twisting old-fashioned soft pretzels by hand, and shop for delicious treats and souvenirs in our bakery store. Plan Your Visit