Ben’s Soft Pretzels opens in Walmart

Ben’s Soft Pretzels opened in the Clanton Walmart on Friday, Oct. 28.(Photo by Steven Calhoun)

Ben’s Soft Pretzels opened in the Clanton Walmart on Friday, Oct. 28.(Photo by Steven Calhoun)

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

Shoppers at the Clanton Walmart will now be greeted by the scent of fresh baked pretzels as they enter the store.

Ben’s Soft Pretzels opened Friday, Oct. 28 on the market side of Walmart. Guests can find the new shop just through the front doors.

The new eatery is the second Ben’s in Alabama; the first opened in Prattville and was the first Ben’s in the southeastern United States.

Ben’s as a franchise is relatively young, having started in 2008. Amy and Martin Wybenga own the Clanton and Prattville locations, as well as a location in Jordan-Hare stadium.

According to Emily Davis, manager of the Clanton and Prattville locations, the Wybengas have seen the Prattville store do very well and thought Clanton might like the store also.

“Everybody’s excited,” said Davis. “[Clanton] really didn’t have any novelty type food here, so it’s a little different.”

The restaurant is very involved in the community of Prattville, according to Davis, and the Clanton location plans to become involved as well.

“In Prattville … I had one of the schools just pick up a pack of coupons to give out for the honor roll,” said Davis. “We’ll be to the schools in Clanton offering different little incentives and things like that.”

She mentioned that the company was founded on family values, and that she believes the Clanton location will carry on with them.

Ben’s employees were excited on their first day serving customers.

Ben’s employees were excited on their first day serving customers.

“Ben himself was Amish, and the company started on family values. Ben’s … has continued that,” said Davis.

Davis is the sister of Amy Wybenga, and said her family is very familiar with the Chilton County area. Martin Wybenga is a family practitioner nearby, and the family has lived in Prattville for over 30 years, according to Davis.

“Prattville is definitely our home base, but we know a lot of people here,” said Davis. “Dr. Wybenga has patients in Clanton. There’s a lot of people who know him.”

Ben’s Soft Pretzels is now open and serving guests in Walmart on Highway 31 in Clanton. For more information, visit Facebook.com/benspretzelsclanton.

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