National Pretzel Day is April 26th! To celebrate, Winans is offering 25% off all chocolate-covered pretzels Tuesday April 26th through Sunday May 1st!
To help you get in the spirit of National Pretzel Day, here are some fun facts about one of our favorite snacks:
- The first National Pretzel Day was declared in 1983 by Robert S. Walker. Pennsylvania’s Governor Ed Rendell re-declared the holiday in April of 2003.
- Pretzels are one of the world’s oldest snacks, dating back to 610 AD in Southern France. Monks folded thin scraps of dough into the shape of a child’s arms folded in prayer. They added salt and baked them, making the first pretzels.
- Pretzels were originally called pretiola, which is Latin for “little reward.” Next the name evolved to brachiola, which means “little arms” in Italian. When pretzels made their way to Austria and Germany they were called “bretzels.”
- The knotted shape of pretzels has represented many different things, from the Holy Trinity in the Catholic church to the bond of marriage. It’s where the phrase “tying the knot” originated!
- Hard pretzels are a more recent snack. They are thought to have been created in the late 1600s when a baker in Pennsylvania forgot a batch of pretzels in the oven. The pretzels were dark and hard, but the baker tried them anyway and loved how crunchy they were.
- Pretzels were made by hand until 1935 when an automated machine was created, allowing factory bakeries to make 245 pretzels per minute!
- Southeastern Pennsylvania is considered the birthplace of the American pretzel industry, and many pretzel bakeries are still located in the area. Pennsylvania produces 80% of the nation’s pretzels.
- The pretzels sold in the US today amounts to $550 million – that’s a lot of pretzels!
You could celebrate National Pretzel day by enjoying a soft pretzel or a crunchy, honey mustard flavored pretzel, or even one of the many different shaped hard pretzels (sticks, twisted, square or even bites) – but here at Winans we have an even better idea!
Celebrate National Pretzel day with Winans’ wetzels! Our wetzels are chocolate covered pretzels and we make them fresh just for you. Enjoy the sweet and salty combination of dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate on a crunchy pretzel. We make large twisted wetzels, mini twisted wetzels and wetzel sticks. We also offer a variety of milk chocolate twisted wetzels with fun confections like M&Ms or peanut butter chips!
We think Stanley Hudson, of NBC’s The Office, would be proud! He’s able to get through 364 mundane days selling paper for Dunder Mifflin just knowing that Pretzel Day is on its way.
There’s no wrong way to celebrate National Pretzel Day with Winans! We’re offering 25% off all wetzels Tuesday April 26th through Sunday May 1st!
Spring is almost here and the bunnies are back at Winans! We’ve been busy at the factory making marshmallow, bagging up novelty Easter candies and of course, making lots and lots of chocolate bunnies!
Winans has been making chocolate molds for over 50 years! Chocolatiers began using chocolate molds in the mid-1830s in France. These molds were made of sheet copper, stamped with geometric shapes to make solid chocolate candies in mass quantities. Prior to the advent of chocolate molds, chocolate was consumed in liquid form only. As the popularity of molded chocolate rose, small animals and other figures were also created in mold form.
Max Winans, founder of Winans, used metal molds from Germany. Many of the metal molds that Winans owns were made by Anton Reiche. Some are just marked as being from West Germany. Anton Reiche is a famous mold manufacturer from Dresden, Germany. He founded his mold company in 1870. German mold manufacturers excelled at making chocolate molds in a variety of sizes with incredible detail and designs. Molds of sitting rabbits or bunnies are the most common of the antique chocolate molds.
We still make many of the molds that Max Winans first made at Winans in the 1960s, but we no longer use the original metal molds. Max took the metal molds and had them recast in plastic. This allows us to make more bunny molds at a time and results in a higher quality mold.
In March of 1978, the Piqua Daily Call published an article about the large collection of chocolate molds Max had acquired over the years. Check out the article, Molds / More to them than chocolate!
Chocolate picks up any imperfections in the mold. Over time metal molds lose shine and are easily scratched, both the lack of shine and scratches would show up in the chocolate. With the plastic reproduction of our original molds we are able to carry on Max’s traditions while still creating beautifully molded chocolate! Our sitting and standing bunnies, as well as our bunnies with backpacks, walking sticks, carts, baskets (as well as Race Car Bunny!) are all cast from our original metal molds. The Floppy Ear Bunny and the Big Eye Bunny are much younger than our other bunnies.
Since we no longer use most of our original metal molds, we have them on display in our Hometown Store in Piqua! If you look closely at the molds, you might notice their manufacturing mark (many of them were made in Germany by Anton Reiche) or see where Max soldered the clips onto the mold. Most molds are multiple pieces and have to be clamped together with clips. To keep track of his clips and make the molds easier to use, Max soldered the clips onto one of the pieces of the mold. Today our plastic molds are held together with magnets!
In order to make our molded bunnies today, warm, tempered chocolate is poured into each mold. Then the molds have to be shaken in order to remove bubbles and evenly distribute the chocolate. The chocolate molds sit in a cold, refrigerated room until the chocolate is solidified and can be removed from the molds. Sometimes excess chocolate has to be trimmed or shaved from the bunny before it can be packaged and sent to a store or a customer at home.
Our bunnies are available in milk, dark and white chocolate. A few of our bunnies are also made in peanut butter. Our biggest bunny is Big Max, named after Max Winans! He weighs in at 20 pounds and was first introduced in 2013.
We hope that one of our many molded bunnies will be part of your family’s Easter tradition this year!
If you want to learn more about chocolate molds, check out these resources below:
Das Schokoladenformen Museum: The Chocolate Molds Museum
Dad’s Follies: Antiques & Collectibles Metal Chocolate Molds—The Beginning
The Golden Glow of Christmas Past: Vintage Christmas Collectibles Christmas Chocolate/Candy Molds
Mmmm… brownies with Winans candies? Yes, please! These fabulous brownies are super chocolate-y with a texture in between cake-y and fudge-y. They’re also full of hidden Winans deluxe Valentine’s mix in festive red, white and pink colors!
They’re super easy to make and are delicious. We’ve got the recipe for you below. Use it for any of your leftover Winans candy (we’re kidding, obviously, hide some of your Winans until you’re ready to make these brownies). We think it’s delicious with any of our seasonal deluxe mixes!
Winans Valentine’s Surprise Brownies
Makes 9×13 pan of brownies (24 individual brownies)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour*
½ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso, finely ground
½ cup Winans deluxe Valentine’s mix candies, cut larger pieces into small half-bite pieces
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil so that it extends up the sides and over the edges of the pan. Coat the foil generously with canola oil. Place the chopped unsweetened chocolate and butter into a small pot over medium-low heat. Stir until both the chocolate and butter are melted. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, baking powder and salt until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla, whisk well. Add the melted chocolate mixture.
Stir in the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder and espresso powder until smooth. Pour half of the batter and spread evenly into the prepared pan. Arrange the candy pieces on top of the batter. cut side down. Be sure to leave a little space between each candy piece and the sides of the pan. Pour the remaining half of the batter and spread to cover the candy. Smooth the surface.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the brownie is set and the edges have pulled away from the side of the pan and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. Lift the brownies from the pan using the extended foil edges and place on a cutting board. Cut the brownies into 2 inch squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week (if they last that long!).
*To make this recipe gluten-free, use 1 ⅓ cup gluten-free all purpose flour (we recommend Bob’s Red Mill) and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum instead of regular wheat all-purpose flour. Follow the same directions as above.
Adapted from GF Contraband Candy Brownies from This Ohio Life.
#WinansCelebratesLove is back for another round! We were amazed by all the different ways our customers celebrated love last year — so amazed that we want to do it again!
Winans is here to help you celebrate love, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day!
We encourage you to celebrate Valentine’s Day, as well as the little and big moments in life! Cherish time spent with friends and family, whether it’s a big birthday party, a peaceful Sunday dinner or a rousing Friday night football game. After all, we’ve been here, helping you show your loved ones how much you care for five generations. We help you show your love in the sweetest way possible!
Share your love on social media — we’re giving away Winans gift cards for our favorites! Use the hashtag, #winanscelebrateslove, and share your pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Caption your photo, or write a quick (short) story about how Winans helped you celebrate love.
#WinansCelebratesLove Contest Details
Dates: Monday January 25th – Monday February 15th
Details: Post photos to Facebook and/or Instagram, using the hashtag #winanscelebrateslove. Tag Winans too, use Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffees for Facebook and @winanscandies on Instagram. Multiple submissions are allowed!
A photo of your favorite Winans drink or chocolate.
A shared moment with your favorite person at a Winans location
A pic of you and your favorite barista.
We want you to show us how you are celebrating love any day at Winans, not just on February. 14th.
We can’t wait to see what you share!
ho Ho HO Merry Christmas and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
This has been a big year of change for us here at Winans. We have successfully moved 5 separate Piqua buildings, that sprung up over the years to support our growth, into one facility that used to house The Piqua Daily Call at 310 Spring Street. The repurposing of this building turned out to be perfect for us. During tours Joe tells people that the building was built for us and we just let The Call use it for 50 years!! The name “Winans Hub” seems to be sticking to the new facility because it is the “Hub” of our: chocolate production, coffee roasting, gift basket designing, administrative offices, Home-Town Retail Store AND our new chocolate factory TOUR operations! Due to Joe’s vision, we are all under one roof (except the 14 other retail locations) and operating at peak efficiency. We laughed when we realized that we are back to Max’s way (Dad’s way) of operating when 55 years ago he had all operations under one roof at the Carriage House.
The most fun part of our new facility for me is meeting tour-attendees who have been Winans customers for our entire existence in Piqua. One lady shared with me that my Uncle Dick had made her wedding cake 55 years ago. Many people on tours are reminiscing about tours they took with my Dad, decades ago, at the Carriage House, when they were on a school or scout tour. Many remember the MYF Taffy Pulls!
Our employees have demonstrated the up most of good humor and flexibility during the changes and moves this year. Their friendly and customer-focused personalities are what makes our brand what it is and we are grateful to each and everyone of them!!!! A BIG special THANK YOU to the factory crew who have had to get used to being on constant display now as they work creating the chocolates – thanks to two over-sized viewing windows in the retail store that allow customers to see chocolates rolling off the enrober belt! The lucky customers may even see a few “Lucy and Ethel” moments when things are not going exactly as planned!
A few Winans employees recreating the famous “I Love Lucy” moment when Ethel and Lucy went to work in a chocolate factory.
Our customers are the best and provide the best advertising ever which is word-of-mouth! Thank you!!!!
AND I want to sincerely thank my husband Joe who has beautifully carried on the Winans tradition as he grows our business. Quality and process are never compromised and each and every traditional Winans product tastes exactly the way it always has because the copper kettles, quality ingredients and passionate owners and employees have remained the same (literally the same, as Miss Clara celebrates 44 years with Winans!). I know Dad would be thrilled and proud of what we have become but more importantly he would be proud of who we still are.
I hope all our employees have a wonderful Christmas filled with friends, family and a stool to put your feet up on because YOU DESERVE IT!!
Merry Christmas and Cheers to 2016!
Laurie Winans Reiser
The Winans elves have been busy getting our stores ready for the holidays — they asked us to announce that all of our stores are now decorated for Christmas! Even better, we’re going to start celebrating the season with our annual Fall Coffee Sale. What better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than by enjoying your favorite blend of Winans coffee?
In addition to a delectable array of seasonal chocolates, we also offer gift boxes and baskets, as well as chocolate gift trays. We can even customize your gift basket or box — and our gift packages and trays are all beautifully wrapped with Christmas trim. To browse some of our customers favorite seasonal sweets, check out our website. At Winans, we also carry a large selection of holiday coffees in flavors like Peppermint Bark, Cranberry Creme, Iced Carrot Cake, Ginger Snap, Sleigh Ride, and Spicy Egg Nog. Brew these blends to get your house smelling like Christmas, and then pour yourself the perfect cup of coffee to enjoy with one (or two or three) of our holiday chocolates.
Make sure to come by any of our locations to see our holiday decorations in-person and pick up your favorite Christmas treats and stocking stuffers. And for a closer look at the Winans process, remember that you can visit the Winans Factory and even take a behind-the-scenes tour on Thursdays at 1:00pm. If you’re lucky, you may actually spot some of the Winans elves making our holiday sweets and treats!