Arriving at about 7 in the morning, the folks at ElJay Pretzels in Litchfield, South Carolina, were hard at work making the dough, shaping the dough for their artisan pretzel buns.
And, wow, were these buns good.
Never heard of ElJay Pretzels before? You've probably eaten them at a restaurant in the area and not realized it. A few places they're served are R'Way Pizza and Family Tavern, Island Bar & Grill, Moe's Original Bar B Que and Dead Dog Saloon.
These pretzels are not just local. They're all over the state. And one place in Greenville, South Carolina, the Habitap, offers them as a dessert.
Owners Bob and Caryl Browner have been perfecting their pretzel (and other pretzel variations) since 2011. In 2015, they moved their operation to the Pawleys Island area. They also make pretzel bites, buns and sticks.
But it's the family atmosphere I was a witness to that made it really wholesome. Their staff was as friendly as could be. Made you feel right at home in their kitchen. Bob butter glazed and salted a bun for me to try and, yes, I ate the whole thing with a smile on my face.
Currently, they only sell wholesale. They have distribution through Sysco Corporation and US Foods.
Take a look through photos of the folks at ElJay Pretzels making the pretzel buns and visit their website by clicking the button at the bottom of the story.