Although the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on some small businesses, Alle Brooke Stefanides has seen success and is about to expand.
Stefanides, 23, opened The Posh Pretzel to sell hand-crafted chocolate drizzled pretzels and chocolate confections during the pandemic last summer and now she is moving into a larger location about three times the size.
She plans to move her small business from its current store on Wyoming Avenue next to the Forty Fort borough building to a space in 900 Rutter Ave., Forty Fort. A grand reopening is planned 10 a.m. Saturday.
“Although we are going through the pandemic, it’s just been really crazy busy and I’m really thankful for all the business from my repeat customers and we met a lot of new people,” Stefanides said. “We needed a larger space to keep up with all the chocolate we’re doing.”
Stefanides said one of the most popular sellers at The Posh Pretzel is a caramel pretzel called the “Tuzinski twist” named after Forty Fort Mayor Andy Tuzinski.
Tuzinski said he encouraged Stefanides to open the business in Forty Fort and he is honored that she named a pretzel after him.
Since many people love caramel, the pretzel’s popularity is a “reflection on the ingredients, not on the name,” he said.
“As mayor, I am very proud of a young resident trying something new and sticking with it and I’m very happy for her success,” Tuzinski said.
Other items Stefanides sells are named after Forty Fort streets. In addition to pretzels with a variety of flavors, she sells other chocolate confections
including chocolate-covered apples, chips, nuts, popcorn and cookies from other small businesses as well as gift trays and gift bags.
Stefanides, who graduated from Misericordia University with a degree in elementary childhood education and special education in 2019, is a fourth grade teacher at Good Shepherd Academy in Kingston. Her mother, family and friends help her with the business and she is there every day after she teaches.
The new location will be open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.