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Shuey’s Pretzels – Family Made Since 1927! Made the Old Fashioned Way in Lebanon, PA

Posted on: December 29, 2016

Shuey’s Pretzels is a family owned and run pretzel bakery in Lebanon PA. Open since 1927, the tiny shop has been nestled in a primarily residential area since 1941.

I may not have ever discovered Shuey’s if I had not gotten lost racing from Heisey’s Diner to the Salvation Army Thrift Store where I had dropped my wallet (long story, but I got it back unharmed, phew!)

Out of the corner of my eye I spied a little pink-hued cinderblock building with a giant pretzel in the window. Once I got my wallet and my composure back I returned to investigate.

Shuey's Pretzels Lebanon PA - Retro Roadmap

I would love to know why these cinder blocks look pink! Anyone? 

The shop is just a few feet wide, big enough for a display case and a few folks. The 1920s era cash register is perched on a little Formica topped table, and is still in use.Shuey's Pretzels Lebanon PA - Retro RoadmapLooking at the menu posted above the display case I quickly decided to buy 2 pounds of hard pretzels. They make 2 types of hard pretzels Large and Beer (sold by the pound only) and I wasn’t sure which ones we might like better, so a taste test was in order!)

Both pretzels are actually made from the same recipe, the only difference, according to Clayton Shuey (3rd generation to work here) is the size. Both were delicious, hard-pretzel-wise, and all of their pretzels are hand twisted.

Shuey's Pretzels - Lebanon PA Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap
How cool is this – the pretzels at Shuey’s are made in the kitchen right behind the shop, just through the divided glass door. All of their pretzels are made with the original equipment (exept a new mixer) cooked in a coal fired brick oven, as has been done for decades.

Shuey's Pretzels Lebanon PA - Retro Roadmap
In chatting with the kind woman behind the counter, I learned I HAD TO come back here on a Saturday, as that is the only day they make soft pretzels. (Ever since I used to get them at the candy counter at Sears, then learning how to make them myself in home-ec, I have loved soft pretzels. Pretzels are kind of a regional thing here in Pennsylvania, where 80% of all pretzels are made, so I moved to the right state, carb-wise.)

Shuey's Pretzels Lebanon PA - Retro Roadmap
As instructed we arrived early on a Saturday, as we were told “when we run out of pretzels for the day, we close up the shop” – this is why there’s no closing time on the hours listed on their door! We were not the only ones hip to this situation, as we saw a steady stream of customers leaving with grocery bags full of pretzels. (Tip: you can call ahead to place an order- but get yours in early for the holidays, as they can only produce so many.)

When it was our turn in line I knew exactly what I wanted: A BIG Soft Pretzel.

And I got it:

Shuey's Pretzels Lebanon PA - Retro Roadmap

And we ate it. Not just me. We 🙂

How exciting is it to think that sometimes when an unlikely event takes you down an unexpected road, it may reveal something delightful. And delicious!