The Story of “Knot”
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.
The entire Not Just Franks Family (not just Frank)