As Going On Faith Conference partner Charlie Presley told delegates who had filled the Willow Valley Chapel in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, anyone who has ever stopped in an airport or a mall to buy a fresh Auntie Anne pretzel knows Anne Beiler. Beiler, who grew up in an Amish family in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, is the founder of the international pretzel franchise company Auntie Anne’s Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels.
When Presley learned that she was from the area and still called it home, he contacted the inspirational entrepreneur and asked her to address the delegation at its opening session. Beiler agreed.
“I brought my sister, Fi, with me today because I get emotional sometimes when I tell my story,” the personable speaker shared with the group. “It helps if I can look over at her and see a reassuring face. My story is one of perseverance, faith, purpose, prayer and, certainly, success, but I have seen my share of heartbreak as well.”
Beiler was a wife and mother of three when her youngest daughter was killed in a farming accident. That accident almost ripped her marriage and family apart, but years later, she overcame that personal tragedy. She bought a local pretzel store with borrowed money and began making soft pretzels with her own recipe.
To make a long story short, her pretzels were a smash hit, resulting in new stores, a franchise agreement, international outlets in more than two dozen countries and all the success one person could ever hope to a chieve. She sold the company several years ago and is now enjoying a more relaxed pace with her family.
“My book is called ‘Twist of Faith,’” she said, “and I will be happy to sign copies out front when this is over. From experience, I can tell each of you that if you find your purpose and stand fast in your pursuit of success, you will succeed. Don’t ever give up on your dreams.”