Brian Krider, president and chief executive of Ben's Soft Pretzels, envisions moms conveniently picking up the take-home kits at the grocery store and spending a Saturday night together with their families at home in the kitchen making pretzels.
"We have wanted to do business with Martin's for a while," Krider says, explaining how the deal has created two new jobs and will open the door a little wider to future projects outside the state.
Ben's Soft Pretzels operates stores in Elkhart, Mishawaka, Shipshewana, Michigan City and Kokomo and offers its products through its mobile-concession program at Notre Dame Stadium and most University of Notre Dame events, at Murray State (Kentucky), Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin, the Indiana State Fair, and the US Steel Yard in Gary.
A company that started at Concord Mall in May 2008 with five employees, is now more than 44 employees strong and growing. Headquartered at 3701 S. Main St., Elkhart, Ben's Soft Pretzels is planning to sell five franchises in 2013 - for starters.
"We are going to make preferred (franchise) offerings in 10 select markets," Krider says. "And we are also working on several new concession locations locally and nationally and project opening those in 2013. Ben's has been declared the world's favorite soft pretzels by many of our loyal customers."
Return of Famous BBQ
Terrence Trotter is renovating a freestanding building in Roseland to reopen World's Famous Barbecue restaurant.
Renovations are currently under way at 135 Dixie Way S., in what Trotter says formerly contained a fast-food restaurant. Trotter plans to offer dine-in and carry-out service.
World's Famous Barbecue should open before the end of the year in its new location, says Greg Lakner, of Lakner Construction & Development, Elkhart.
Trotter previously operated the restaurant at 1132 South Bend Ave., near the five-points intersection south of the University of Notre Dame. He closed that location several months ago and the building has been demolished.
His brother operates Frankie's Barbecue at 1621 Circle Ave., South Bend.
New hotel planned
A new Fairfield Inn & Suites is planned at 3401 Plaza Court, Elkhart.
The 59,800-square-foot hotel will be located north of the Hilton Garden Inn and will offer 83 rooms, says A.J. Patel, president of JSK Development in South Bend.
Ground is expected to be broken later this month, with an August 2013 hotel opening planned.
Jane's Markets plans to enter market
Contractors are being asked to submit bids for work on as many as 50 new Jane's Junior Markets stores in Indiana.
New store construction is planned in nine Indiana counties, including St. Joseph County, according to bid documents online.
Jane's Junior Markets is planning discount grocery store locations between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet. The company has also reached out to contractors for new stores planned in Alabama, Georgia, Connecticut, Tennessee and Illinois.
Have you heard?
The Granger Marathon gas station is only temporarily closed, a source tells us, while the owner works out an unexpected contract technicality with the oil company that delivers the gasoline. Giannetto's Pizza has not been affected by what is happening in the other portion of the building on the southeast corner of Capital Avenue and Cleveland Road. ... Rumors that persist about Joe's Crab Shack possibly opening in our area are just that -- rumors. A company spokesman says Joe's is not scouting our market for a new location at this time. ... The newly remodeled McDonald's restaurant, located at 1411 S. Heaton St., in Knox, will reopen its doors at 9 a.m. Monday with a 24-hour dual lane drive-through and digital menu boards.
Heidi Prescott's column runs on Fridays and Sundays. When she's not shopping, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-235-6070. You can also talk retail at Facebook.com/thebasket and at Twitter.com/marketbasket.