Campbell Creek Pretzels thrives at mall location

Campbell Creek Pretzels thrives at mall location
Scott Daniels

Amber Warner, owner of the pretzel shop, said it began with a recipe and a nudge from the pandemic to get the business going.


The story of Campbell Creek Pretzels, one of the busiest locations inside New Towne Mall in New Philadelphia, is one of good timing, lots of work and a passion for doing things right.

Amber Warner, owner of the pretzel shop, said it began with a recipe and a nudge from the pandemic to get the business going.

“I was working as a respiratory therapist,” she said. “I was working through the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was becoming really difficult emotionally. My husband starting looking around for something I could do to supplement my income and reduce the amount of time I was spending as a therapist.”

She acquired a good recipe for pretzel dough and began making them in her home kitchen.

“It was really frustrating at first,” she said, “getting the roll twist right. But when I got that down, I started experimenting with different kinds of dough, creating rolls and buns. Then I got the idea of coming to the mall. Auntie Anne’s was no longer there, and it was vacant. I checked it out. It seemed like it would work out, and I came home, told my husband I’d signed a lease. We were opening a restaurant, and I’d quit my job. And here we are.”

The store opened in fall 2021. In the meantime she did a lot of experimenting, getting things just right. The hard work has been worth it.

“We have been doing very well,” Warner said. “You might think the mall isn’t so busy, but we definitely see a lot of people here.”

Today, Warner is the single family member who does most of the work of running the business, aided by employees numbering from six to 10 depending on the season.

“We now deliver to other businesses,” Warner said. “We deliver weekly to Hoodletown Brewery, Five Barrel Bullet Brewery, Schrock’s Cabinets, Shenanigans and a lot of concession stands for schools. We also offer delivery online to anywhere in the United States. We ship them fresh. Once online ordering takes off, we would add to our staff as needed. It’s a slow building process.”

All the pretzels are made at the mall location. A second location in Sugarcreek didn’t work out. After a brief attempt, it had to be closed.

“New Towne Mall is changing,” Warner said. “There are different kinds of things here now. A day care facility is opening. There’s a fitness center and a furniture store — not just big retail stores anymore. Everyone needs to eat, and we have a good location here.”

She said the secret to making good pretzels is patience.

“You have to be patient with the dough. Sometimes you take it out and it fights you and doesn’t want to cooperate. But you learn to just put it away for a while, let it relax and try again. It takes time and patience to get the dough right, but it’s worth the extra care. We pretty much have it down to a science now and make a consistently great product. Slow and steady really does win the race.”

Check out the selection of pretzels, nuggets, buns, pizza crusts, dips and toppings online at Campbell Creek Pretzels is officially at 400 Mill Ave. SE, Suite 433, New Philadelphia.

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