Friday, April 25, 2014

Bag Lady

That, apparently, might be me.

In yesterday's post, I alluded to the fact that I had been asked to complete a writing project for our family's pretzel business.  The assignment was to write a 100 word descriptive piece that would ultimately be printed on the back of pretzel bags.  Lots of bags.  A gazillion bags, perhaps.

Does that make me a bag lady?

Our family has been making pretzels for a long since.  Since 1861, in fact.  Even though the Civil War was stirring into action that year, my great great grandfather, Julius Sturgis, was busy opening up a new business venture.  That same year he opened America's very first commercial pretzel bakery.

Since then, six generations of Sturgis's have continued making pretzels to this day.  The company today, Tom Sturgis Pretzels, is named after my grandfather, Marriott (Tom) Sturgis and my father, Tom Sturgis.  Although my father is now 80 years old, he shows no real signs of retiring.  My brother, Bruce Sturgis, is the operational chairman.  Over the years, my other brother, Chris, and I have also been involved in the operation of making pretzels.

Here are a few bags I have in my cupboards right now.  (I told you I was a bag lady!)  Oops, I ate the ones in the left bag.

Most of my tasks over the years have had to do with either cost analysis or writing.  I've written descriptive narratives which are printed inside the lids of our pretzel gift tins, newspaper ads and advertising brochures, and family histories.

A collection of our gift containers
This "Kids" themed gift can features a scene in which my four children are playing:

From left to right:  Caleb, Lindsay, Rachel, and Sarah
This latest assignment involved writing a piece for a brand new type of pretzels we are offering - horse and buggy shaped pretzels.  As of this point in time, these pretzels are still in the experimental phase, and are only being sold in the factory retail store in bags with temporary labeling.  Later, once they are refined, they will be packaged in bags similar to the ones shown above and sold in grocery stores and other outlets.

On the back of each bag it is required by law that we list the nutritional elements.  However, that leaves a space on the other half of the bag for a few paragraphs that we write to our customers.  That little note on the left side of the bag is what I was working on yesterday.

One may think it is easy to write such a short piece, but it can actually be a good challenge to write all the thoughts and comments you want to convey in a short and concise manner.

Anyway, I got 'er done and sent 'er in.

Then afterwards, I went and rewarded myself with a snack.  Aren't they cute?

This bag lady really likes what's in those bags.


  1. Quite the family history! I never would have guessed that a pretzel making family would be in business that long. The next time I'm in the USA I'll definitely be looking for Sturgis Pretzels. I don't believe I've ever seen them here in B.C. but I'll check!

  2. Now I'm going to be on the lookout for Sturgis Pretzels. I've never really paid much attention to the brand when I've bought pretzels before. Do they sell them in the West?

  3. Pretzels in any shape are still tasty.

  4. What an interesting family business! Those cheddar ones look appealing to me!

  5. I also want to say that I read the history of your pretzel factory on Wikipedia and it sure did have a colorful past and got started by a recipe given to one of your family member's because of his act of kindness.

  6. What an interesting post. I'll certainly be looking for Sturgis pretzels. Are they sold everywhere?