Two store openings welcomed by Gloucester shoppers
IT'S official – Gloucester loves pretzels.
The Eastgate shopping centre was thronging with shoppers on Saturday as the new Auntie Anne's pretzel bakery opened for the first time.
Many shoppers took time out to try the tasty treats for the first time.
"It beats a doughnut," said Bob Skillern, from Barnwood.
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"It is actually very good. They are a bit different."
Kamie Wear, from Linden, agrees. Her chocolate flavoured pretzel went down a treat. She said: "I had one once before in Birmingham so it is nice to have a store like this here in Gloucester."
Barry Morgan, from Lydbrook, and his nine-year-old son Jake tucked into a vanilla pretzel. "I've never had one before," said Mr Morgan. "They are unusual but Jake certainly likes them."
John Link, from Hardwicke, said he would be buying one after trying a free sample.
And Emma Lewis, from Churchdown, added: "It's beautiful. I've had one before and these are good quality."
Store owner Pasha Pashapour and his wife Haleh Norooz were joined by the UK managing director of the American firm Robert Burton.
Mr Burton said: "We have 24 across the country now and we just opened another last week in Uxbridge but we didn't see the reaction we've had here today.
"There's been a real buzz in the shopping centre. It's been really busy and people can't say a bad word about the pretzels. It's fair to say many people have not had a pretzel before but when they try them they love it."
The bakery, which has four employees, can prepare a pretzel in just eight minutes from start to finish.
They come in sweet flavours such as vanilla and cinnamon or chocolate and savoury flavours such as original with salt or cheese.
The bakery's grand opening, on what was one of the busiest days of the year for the centre so far, was paralleled by clothes store Internacionale, which opened up its new larger premises in the same shopping centre.
The shop moved into the former MK One unit which had been vacant since April.
The store sells some of the latest fashions at rock-bottom prices.
Jason Robinson, manager of the shopping centre, said: "It bodes well for the future and obviously shows that Internacionale is doing well here in Gloucester."