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Franchisee Voices: Robert Gesek of Philly Pretzel Factory

Franchisee Robert Gesek opened the first Philly Pretzel Factory in his hometown.

By Nick Powills1851 Franchise Publisher
SPONSORED 4:16PM 01/10/17

Robert traveled all around the East Coast before returning to Revere, his hometown. Whether he was in Rhode Island or Boston, Robert always knew where his favorite pretzel was. Philly.

Robert opened Massachusetts’ first ever Philly Pretzel Factory location in Revere, where the local community is now able to get a taste of his favorite East Coast treat.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I grew up in Revere and went to Johnson & Wales University in Providence R.I.  After Graduating with my Culinary Arts, I headed to Lake Tahoe and then finally moved to Philly in the mid-80s.

I moved back to Boston for a few years in 1991 and ran a hotel and several restaurants for four years. After moving back to Pennsylvania in 1994, I ran a large convention center hotel for 16 years and then a few small restaurants until I finally moved back to Boston for good in 2014.  I kept telling my wife we would make a killing with a Philly Pretzel Factory Franchise in Boston. I ran across an ad for the PPF brand and we started the franchising process. Now we’re just looking for the best location on the North shore. I loved pretzels when I lived in Philadelphia; they are definitely the best in the country.

What were your perceptions of franchising before starting the process? 

I really didn’t have a clue. I worked for one franchise and I knew some friends that were with different franchises, but I didn’t have an idea what it would be like to have one of my own. I knew that there were guidelines to follow. The brand perfected a process and showed you exactly why they are successful. When I hear about people straying away from the way they do things, I always think, “Why would you do that?” They perfected it for a reason. A franchise is great because they handle most of the leg work for you, freeing myself to concentrate on other areas of the business.

Are you involved with any charitable organizations?

I will be very excited to support several different local organizations, whether it’s a little league baseball or basketball team, a walk for cancer or a drive to end homelessness in my State.