Not Just Franks


Our History

The Story of “Knot” Just Franks

There has been much speculation as to the origin of the soft pretzel, however, most research concludes the soft pretzel has its origins in Europe and was used in Christian traditions.  At Not Just Franks, our favorite theory credits an Italian monk during the 6th century with the invention of what many consider to be the world’s oldest snack. The monk created the treat from left-over Lenten bread and gave it as a reward to children who memorized their prayers and scriptures. The original shape was the inverted shape of those we are familiar with today, more closely resembling that of folded arms across one’s chest. During those days, that was the traditional stance of prayer—indicating complete surrender, trust, faith. The three sections of the pretzel were also used to teach the concept of the Holy Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The pretzel became a symbol of luck, prosperity and even used in marriage ceremonies (remember this little detail).

Let’s fast forward to 1994, when a young Italian law student—Frank Caraccio, from Syracuse, New York, fell in love with the concept of the soft pretzel business while staying in Chapel Hill, NC. He learned the art of twisting and baking at Katie’s Soft Pretzels in Durham, NC.  After his second year of law school, he returned to North Carolina, where he and his future wife would fall in love as a result of a rather complicated pretzel order, and would “tie the knot” in 1996, and start their own pretzel store in Concord, NC, the following year.

After a few twists and turns in the business world, the couple made their “dough” primarily from their own fast food concept, Not Just Franks—a hot dog restaurant at the Carolina Mall in Concord, NC. However, when the opportunity opened up in 2013 to combine franks and pretzels, the “Not Just Franks” owners took a leap of faith and opened in Downtown Concord—to offer fast, friendly service, and fresh food at fair prices.

The word, “pretzel” derives either from the Latin, “pretiola,” meaning “little rewards” or “brachiola,” meaning “little arms”. At Not Just Franks, we think it must be both…because our journey has been rewarding and a result of faith and many prayers.  We hope as a Customer of Not Just Franks you will enjoy knowing and being a part of our story. 

Many thanks,

The entire Not Just Franks Family (not just Frank)


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