Shifley calls his venture Grandma Hattie in honor of his grandma, Hattie Shifley, whose 100 year old recipe he is copying.
“It is fun,” Jay said nostalgically. “Sometimes I’ll go back to those days when I’m putting a batch together.”
Grandma Hattie, he recalls, was always baking pretzels when he was growing up. “We’d never leave grandma’s without a bag of pretzels,” he recalled. “Baking and cooking was what she love to do. She would sometimes call and ask us to come for dinner just because she loved to cook.”
For instance, Jay says his grandma used to bake them in lard, which would often mean that the bottoms would harden and burn. He’s finding some alternative methods have helped to keep the pretzels tender and moist.
Shifley said that he’s also trying to implement some new flavors as he goes. He’s already floated a cheddar pretzel and his current menu has a pretzel bun available. While the old fashioned pretzel still tops the list, pretzel connoisseurs can expect to see some more nuances to grandma’s recipe down the line.
“Soft on the inside; crunchy on the outside.” That’s what Shifley says people can expect from Grandma Hattie’s. A further sample will reveal a mouth-watering, cake-like texture, which no doubt comes from its being handmade.
But pallets are really raving about the salty precision of the pretzels. “People have said that it has the perfect amount of salt,” said Shifley.
There’s no doubt that Grandma Hattie would approve of the luscious creations her grandson has been producing, though. Atown shoppers have certainly voiced their support as Shifley’s stock has sold quite well in the first few weeks of business.
Shifley has a vision to grow the business little by little and replicate the business model he uses in the work he has done overseas. Shifley’s main occupation is helping Christians in other countries start businesses as a means of boosting local economies and providing venues for Christian discipleship.
Currently Shifley spends about 5-7 hours a week putting his pretzels together from his own home. He says he does some prep the night before, then wakes up at 4 am to mix the dough. “I get to go back to bed for an hour while the dough rises. But then I get up to punch it down.”
Pretzels are delivered to Local Roots every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They are available at the Flour Barrel and at www.grandmahattie.com. A six pack of soft pretzels can be picked up for $4.99 and a four pack of pretzel buns for $5.99.
You can get the latest updates on goods by following Grandma Hattie on twitter and/or Facebook.