Auntie Anne’s brings variety to Hub


Graham Smith

Ambrosia, in the Hub, is now closed and cloaked as of Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. Work is being done behind the curtains to replace Ambrosia with an Auntie Anne’s pretzels.

Hannah Reed

Auntie Anne’s will be replacing Ambrosia in the Hub next Wednesday.

The pretzel franchise will offer its classic array of pretzels while still keeping Ambrosia’s ice cream options as it officially opens Jan 22. Rich Roldan, director of dining services, said Auntie Anne’s was chosen to add more variety to the dining options in the Hub.

“We chose Auntie Anne’s because it adds diversity to the other dining options,” Roldan said.

The change to Auntie Anne’s was driven by both the weather and the addition of snack options offered in the Hub. Roldan said during the winter, Ambrosia did not get the increased business it got during the warm summer months.

He also said keeping the ice cream Ambrosia offers and adding the additional snack option of Auntie Anne’s pretzels will give students the opportunity to expand their palette during off-meal hours.

“As long as the weather was not cold, Ambrosia was doing OK,” Roldan said. “The drive to bring variety was not a financial aspect, but Auntie Anne’s does have a better overall financial picture.”

The university is partnering with the pretzel shop in a royalty-free agreement to adapt the franchise and brand.

Changing Ambrosia to Auntie Anne’s, a Pennsylvania-born pretzel shop with more than 1,400 stores worldwide, was a decision that Dining Service’s student food committee made.

“Auntie Anne’s was the overwhelming pick,” Roldan said. “Ambrosia has been here for almost seven years now, and we thought it was time to do something different during the off-meal period.”

Kaitlin Scicchitano, Auntie Anne’s public relations and social media specialist, said the store will feature similar menu options as any other Auntie Anne’s in the area.

Scicchitano has high hopes for the new franchise.

“We’re really excited about spreading as much as we can,”  Scicchitano said. “College students have been great customers for us so far.”


Many students have expressed excitement about the arriving restaurant.

“It’s pretty sweet,” junior accounting major Chaz Colucy said. “I like (Auntie Anne’s) better than Ambrosia for sure.”

Freshman exploratory major Erika Kost was unaware of the new addition to the Hub.

 “I’m excited,” Kost said. “I love Auntie Anne’s, but I’m kind of going to miss Ambrosia.”

 Along with giving the Student Center a wider variety of food choices, Auntie Anne’s might pose as a healthier alternative for students and staff.

“We definitely have better-for-you options,” Scicchitano said. “Customers can order their pretzel with or without butter and they can order it with or without salt.”

Getting a pretzel with no butter can shave off four grams of fat, according to the nutrition page on the Auntie Anne’s website. The site also says that with the exception of the Pretzel Dog, Auntie Anne’s does not sell anything containing trans-fat.

Roldan said he hopes students embrace the change and additional options.

“We’re excited to bring a good company to the Hub,” he said. “We hope this decision is met with a lot of customer satisfaction.”

Contact Hannah Reed at [email protected].