Pocasset Woman Launches Dipped Pretzel Business

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By: Diana T. Barth
Published: 08/17/12

Earlier this year, Pocasset resident Claudine D. Wrighter brought her friend Lisa A. Laine a gift of the fancy dipped pretzels that she had made in the signature colors of Ms. Laine’s new Main Street boutique: pink and white.

Ms. Laine’s reaction was swift and emphatic, Ms. Wrighter said.

“Diva,” Ms. Laine said in what her friends describe as her characteristic way, “you need to make this a business.” She offered, then and there, to sell Ms. Wrighter’s pretzels in her store.

Ms. Wrighter, who had only been making her confections for her family and as gifts, took her friend’s advice to heart. After all, Ms. Laine holds a degree in merchandising and a management-related master’s degree.

If she were to market her pretzels, however, Ms. Wrighter needed to take care of the legalities, including finding a name for her company. Her husband came up with the corporate name she registered with the state: Pocasset Pretzel Co. She was soon up and running.

The pretzels she began making for Ms. Laine’s store sold out quickly.

Paula M. Healey saw the pretzels at the boutique and asked where they were made. She was surprised to find that the pretzel company was owned by a friend. She knocked on Ms. Wrighter’s door to ask about her new business and ended up being hired on to assist.

“I knew she wouldn’t eat my profits,” Ms. Wrighter joked, in a back-handed reference to the family members who were used to having all of the dipped pretzels made only for them and wanted to sample the goods.

Ms. Healey said Ms. Laine has begun calling her “the Dipping Diva.”

Pocasset Pretzel Co. was soon providing pretzels that are “Handmade on Cape Cod” for showers, graduations, weddings, birthday parties, and as corporate gifts.

New pretzel collections began proliferating, with molded chocolates, specially printed stickers, or silver charms, some imprinted with the name of the bride and groom and a wedding date, all being added to the packaging.

A Cape Cod collection of aqua and white-dipped pretzels had, for example, molded seashells made of white chocolate added to the package, along with a bit of brown sugar to represent the sand. A celebrations collection contained pretzels dipped in multi-colored candies. There is also a Cranberry Bog Collection, as well as Campfire Collection for National S’mores Day, the latter made with pretzels dipped in chocolate and then covered in mini-marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, and crushed graham crackers.

On Friday of last week, five Bourne women gathered with Ms. Wrighter to discuss, and celebrate, the launch of Pocasset Pretzel Company’s new website.

Along with Ms. Laine, who provided the impetus for the new business, and Ms. Healey, who lent her hands, the group included another of Ms. Wrighter’s Bourne friends, Shannon Ethier Thomas of Shannon Ethier Photography. Ms Thomas, another Bourne businesswoman, came to photograph some of Pocasset Pretzel’s expanding collection of product for that website.

The website is going up with the assistance of another Bourne businesswoman, Pocasset resident Suzie Perry of Perry Design, who focuses on logo development and corporate identity, as well as website design.

Unless you have done it before, it is hard to know where to begin, Ms. Perry said last week of the new website and her contributions to the new business. She has been very free with answers to that and other questions.

The five women all took part in last week’s discussion, sharing recommendations for accounting help, and giving Ms. Wrighter advice on such matters as pricing.

They were quick to support each other, but were adamant that Ms. Wrighter should charge friends the same amount that she charges everyone else. As a businesswoman, she has to resist the urge to give away her profit.

Ms. Laine, for example, helps by giving priority to Bourne-made products. Among her products are signs made by Alison & Michael Moorhouse of Bourne, whose business is called On Cape Time. Ms. Wrighter had been painting signs for her friend Alison’s business when she started her own. The women had kudos for Cynthia C. Fagundas, a Bourne resident whose cards and other creations convinced them she can successfully make a saleable product out of almost anything.

All of the women took delight in what one called “the beauty of having friends doing such creative work.”

Pocasset Pretzel Co.’s product is available in several locations besides Lisa Laine Gifts: Momos Food Emporium in East Sandwich, the Sea Crest Gift Shop in North Falmouth, Uncle Bill’s Country Store in North Falmouth, Latitude 41 and Periwinkles at the Chart Room in Cataumet, The Pink Polka Dot in Falmouth, Party Cape Cod in Bourne, and the Back Bay Hotel in Boston. The latter provides the confections to its VIP guests.

The dipped pretzel were photographed for the July issue of Cape Cod Magazine. One can also find pictures of the product at www.pocassetpretzel.com or on Facebook.com/PocassetPretzelCompany.

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