When you think of an occasion, stress can set in because you are thinking of all the work you have to do – menu planning, shopping, getting the house ready, and making sure everyone has a great time. But it doesn’t have to be that way. OMG! Pretzels have a long history of helping make every occasion delicious and fun. Our innovative and bold flavored pretzel bites are perfect for every taste and occasion.
Our Homey Beginning
Lynn Kriebel, Co-Owner and Chief Baker of OMG! Pretzels, started making flavored gourmet sourdough pretzel nuggets decades ago when her children were growing up. Garlic pretzels were the first flavor and still a favorite of her eldest son. “I’d always make the pretzels and have them out for afterschool snacks,” shares Lynn. “The kids’ friends would come over and love the pretzels snacks also, so eventually I started using them when I entertained.”
As Lynn’s children grew up, they started to suggest she try and sell her ridiculously delicious pretzel bites. So, seven years ago, Lynn approached a local specialty store and the rest, as they say, is history! Now OMG! Pretzels are available nationwide in various retail stores, online, and on Amazon.
And, we’ve gone from one flavor – our flagship offering, Garlic Pretzels – to eight adventurous flavors, including: Sweet & Salty, Chesapeake Spice, Cheddar Jalapeno, Sweet & Spicy, Lemon Pepper, Salty Butterscotch, and Sweet Chili.
How do we do it? Lynn uses inspiration from a lot of different places. “Sometimes it’s from cooking or a new dish I try and wanting to incorporate those flavor combinations. Other times I read an article and think, that could fun and I just mix up the flavors from there,” she says.
After people started loving the Garlic Pretzels, Lynn thought she needed a new flavor and looked to the past for flavor inspiration. “I started developing the Sweet & Salty when I thought about summers when my kids were growing up. Their grandfather would always come and visit and make them cinnamon sugar toast. That’s the flavor foundation for the Sweet & Salty Pretzels.”
One of her sister-in-law’s famous appetizers led to one of our newest flavors – Lemon Pepper. “She always makes these little open-faced sandwiches with small squares of pumpernickel bread, mayonnaise and cucumber. Then, she sprinkles a little lemon pepper on top. I thought, lemon pepper pretzels would add a nice crunch to the bite, so started working on the new flavor for our sourdough pretzel bites.”
Sometimes Lynn uses suggestions from family and friends to create new pretzel flavors. “One of my daughters mentioned how much people love the flavors in seafood seasonings like McCormick’s Old Bay blend and that’s how the Chesapeake Spice Pretzels came about.”
Lynn’s Entertaining Tips
When you’re entertaining, Lynn recommends using the people who are coming and the type of occasion or get together as the foundation for the rest of your planning. “If I’m just serving appetizers and drinks for watching a big game like the Superbowl, I plan things differently than if it’s an elegant dinner party,” she notes. “Easy entertaining is key. What’s the point in having people over if you don’t get to have fun with them.”
No matter the occasion, Lynn loves to offer guests various flavors of our sourdough pretzel bites because they are so versatile and are an easy way to add a lot of flavor. Different flavored pretzels pair well with beer and wine, so she takes that into account as well.
Lynn also recommends having some go-to recipes and ready-made options. For instance, she always puts out some pretzels for when people are arriving just for a little something to much on regardless of the occasion. “I always label the flavors of pretzels, as well as any cheeses or dips I use with them, so people know what they are eating,” she says. “I like to place the food around your entertaining space so it’s interactive and fun.”
“If I’m serving dinner, I also plan small hors d’oeuvres and dessert. I start planning a week ahead of time, so I don’t leave all the work for the day of the dinner party,” Lynn shares. “I think about what I want to serve as the entrée first and then plan the appetizer and dessert. I want the whole menu to be cohesive.” This is how she divides the work:
- Clean the house three to four days before.
- Make the flower arrangement or centerpiece two days before.
- Choose make-ahead side dishes and desserts that can be prepared two to three days in advance and warmed up the day of, so you can relax and be with people not in the kitchen the whole time.
- Set the table the night before or the morning of your event.
No matter your occasion or the flavors in your menu, there’s an OMG! Pretzels variety that can add bold flavor and texture to your dishes. For brunch, Lynn adds Sweet & Salty to baked French toast casserole or Chesapeake Spice Pretzels to an egg casserole for a fun and crunchy topping. For dessert, she adds Sweet Chili pretzels between layers of chocolate cake for a surprise crunch and little heat. Lynn’s final words of advice: Mix it up, try new things, and have fun!