By Dan Domsic
For Patrick Wojtalik, 39, life changed with a twist – a twist of soft and chewy dough that forms many of the treats at Pat’s Philly Pretzels.
The Philly-area transplant started operating the business after moving to Indianapolis and seeing the lack of the cultural institution.
“The original pretzel was just a staple there,” he said.
His parents would bring them from home, he gave them out to friends, and inquiries on where to get the chewy and often salty confection followed.
The first location was opened in Indy in 2009. A location at the City Market in downtown Indy followed.
The newest storefront added to the biz that boasts pretzel braids big and small or filled with other ingredients like ham and pepperoni is in the heart of downtown Fishers, 8395 E. 116th St., Suite 153, in Fishers Town Center.
Before the new brick-and-mortar location opened early this summer, Pat’s Philly Pretzels was setting up shop at the Fishers Farmers Market, now located in front of the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater, 6 Municipal Dr., and they continue to do so. The market runs from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
“This one (farmers market) was always the best,” he said. “People were the most supportive, and that’s sort of what inspired this location, partly because we did well over there and partly because we live here now.”
Before turning to twisting pretzels, Wojtalik was a teacher. After foot traffic at Pat’s Philly Pretzels first location forced a change in the business model, he took it on as a full-time gig.
“It’s really a family business,” he said. “It’s really been a way of life. It’s seven days a week and just about 365 days a year.”
Patrick’s wife, Erica Wojtalik, 38, also quit her day job to join the crew.
“I feel very grateful just to be here,” she said, “and have a business here and to raise a family here.”