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How We Started

How We Started

The Original Hemp Pretzels are manufactured here in Pennsylvania, Lancaster County & Hanover to be exact. Since the mid 1990's we've had our finger on the pulse of hemp through Hempzels™ it's got deep roots - www.hempzels.com online since 1999. Call Anytime. 1-800-USE-HEMP that is in the USA only.1990's our 3 per bag preprinted 6 flavors the beginning

Hemp plus pretzels = Hempzels™ it all started in 1997 when No Problem Inc - President - Ralph Amato, Mark Tucci & Don Riese we're hanging together, Ralph bringing the money to the table with Mark's marketing & Don as friend and muse and Don his wife baked the very first Hempzels™ in their home in York PA in 1997?, using a pretzel mix and hemp seed meal. Hempezels™ has been a registered Federal Trademark brand since than.  Our pretzels are darker in grain, higher in plant based hemp protein and have a fuller flavor profile. Sourdough to Soft - a new twist on an old treat.

      1. They started with hemp textiles in the early 1990's with custom batic - tie dying and custom hand made wedding dresses. Friends of Ian from Jamaica they made a name for themselves - before Shawn met them.
      2. They worked first with Revonah Pretzel bakery & than with Anderson Pretzel bakery with a hemp seed meal nugget - the start of the learning curve.
      3. The formulation changed in 1999 thanks to the introduction of "HEMPNUT" from Richard Rose the Original Hemp OG Google him.- - Ralph, Mark, Don and Shawn went to California for the Hemp Industry Meeting. Shawn was networking & representing other companies.
      4. The new formulation and entry into the Food Distribution Award Contest in 1999 got they company recognized as second place in a "best pretzel" out of 30 pretzel entries - Hempzels™ was beat out by a chocolate covered pretzel stick from Ohio. No doubt....(btw we did work with Repperts and another Lancaster County chocolatier years later).
      5. The DEA's insistence on hemp food production being stopped & asking for our hemp seed was a breaking point for Ralph and which we said "NO" - Ralph the owner sold Shawn the Assetts of the Company in 2000. - Sourdough Pretzel relationship, Trademark, Raw materials, 800-USE-HEMP and he later passed on privately from cancer - RIP Ralph Amato, thanks for being a guiding angel to many. 
      6. 2007 at the Revonah Pretzel Bakery talking about the farmers need to grow hemp - 13 years ago.

With many bumps in the road from family, children, accidents and the politics of hemp it's been a tough road and we've hung on.

Since than & re-incorporation in 2005 as the Lancaster Trading House, Inc our product lines & bakery relationship have expanded significantly - the "Mustard That Bites Back™" our Horseradish Hemp & Honey Mustard was the next best thing to accomodate premium pretzels. - We have been annually educating thousands of attendees as regional events such as the PA Farm Show since 2005 - The AC Beerfestival, PASA, and many more events to explain and sell the product lines. 

From the Sourdough formulation came the Soft Pretzel relationship with Dutch Country Soft Pretzels under the ownership of Ike Stoltzfus - inspiration from one of the former managers, ownership has changed since than and we have a licencing agreement with the current ownership under Dave & Shannon formulized in 2020. 

We've had working relationships when hemp was not hip with Nature's Best in CA in 2005 - DPI in MD for WholeFoods Regional Markets in 2007 - Garden Spot Food Distributors is a current distributor through River Valley Holdings & now Cavallaro Foods is distributing our Mustard into Wegman's and the North East Region of the US - we are seeking to increase our presense through the new marketing channels being developed for direct consumer purchasing.

We continue to develop our pretzel lines with our bakery partners - we are ready to roll into 2020 now matter how the powers to be may create obstacles. 

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Since has been a work in progress since 1999 - thank you for your business as into 2020 we will adapt and open a retail direct spot in Wrightsville, PA © Hempzels(R)," It's All About the Seed"(tm), (c) 2019 Lancaster Trading House, Inc. All Rights Reserved Write: PO Box 7832, Lancaster, PA 17604 1-800-USE-HEMP in the USA Only - 1-717-252-6288