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Bent out of shape over the closure of Giegerich Pretzel Co.

Bent out of shape over the closure of Giegerich Pretzel Co.
By D.J. Wilson

All things must pass, but why did this one have to go? On June 27, Irene Giegerich closed up shop. Sad to say, the maker of what are arguably — if one wants to argue about such matters — the best soft pretzels in town is no longer in business. The 74-year-old Irene says she became ill a few months ago and scaled back operations, baking pretzels only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Giegerich Pretzel Co.'s headquarters, 2826 S. Jefferson Ave. Now she's selling the family business, building, ovens, even the "rolling machine," for a mere $30,000. The Giegerich family has been in the pretzel business for 152 years in St. Louis. Irene has some ideas for newcomers on how to make a go of the business. If St. Louis 2004, the mayor's office or the downtown-booster group Metropolis want to do something worthwhile, they might try saving this business. How can this beer-and-pretzel town face the millennium with decreased access to soft pretzels? Scary.

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