How Dot’s Homemade Pretzels Went From Small-Town North Dakota to Online Everywhere


On today’s episode of the Food & Beverage Podcast, host Daniel Litwin got his hand caught in the cookie jar…or more accurately a bag of Dot’s Pretzels. Litwin sat down with Dorothy Henke, better known to the world as “Dot” and founder of Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels, to discuss her journey to founding the North Dakota-based snack food company.

“To be accepted like we’ve been accepted in the Midwest and now further out now is unbelievable,” Dot said with a distinctive North Dakota accent. Her pretzel company, like many mom and pop success stories, wasn’t purposely launched to be a national brand.

“It was nothing that we were going to intentionally do at all,” Dot said. “I just made up a logo, put the logo on the bag, and put a little red bow on these packages.”

First beloved by her family, Dot sent a batch of her pretzels to her family member in Arizona as a hometown, homemade creation for her and her clients. When she sent the homemade pretzels to her clients, her phone rang off the hook with people wanting to know where to purchase them.

Soon, word got around as more people tried Dot’s distinctive pretzels around town at Arizona flag football games and back home at the Pride of Dakota show. Word of mouth and product sampling became her first and primary methods of marketing, as retail stores slowly took on orders as consumers asked for the product.

On the podcast, Dot broke down the branding and business decisions behind her company, her experience entering the e-commerce world of selling her pretzels online and how failures along the way helped her become the success she is today.

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