Building a national pretzel brand from steadfast Amish-roots has been the key to growth for pretzel bakery Ben’s Soft Pretzels, the fast growing soft pretzel franchise. Opening 27 new locations in the last year with more than 20 currently in development for 2016, the Indiana-based pretzel concept is stepping up as a strong contender in the $124 billion snack industry.

Founded in 2008 by businessman Brian Krider, pretzel fanatic Scott Jones and Amish baker Ben Miller, the more than 60-unit franchise best known for its Amish-inspired proprietary recipe is announcing its plans to partner with buyers looking to take on 10 or more units. Kicking off national expansion efforts, Ben’s Soft Pretzels recently signed multiple deals to enter three new states: Alabama, Kentucky, and Ohio.

To add to the simplicity of owning and operating a Ben’s Soft Pretzels franchise, the brand recently launched a partnership with Gordon Food Service to create a national distribution system. As of mid-January, all ingredients that a franchisee would need come from the foodservice distributor, creating a streamlined and cost-effective system. Executives also changed the overall design of the bakery by adding brighter and bolder colors and redesigned its internal training program.

“Since our early days, we’ve focused on creating a life-changing, pretzel eating experience that’s unlike anything else,” said Brian Krider, chief operating officer and co-founder of Ben’s Soft Pretzels. “The emotion connected to the first bite of a warm, salty Ben’s Soft Pretzel is what led us to become the leader in the soft pretzel market. Every day we’re turning dough into dough and honing our efforts in on making excellent pretzels, displaying excellent pretzels, and selling excellent pretzels.”

Ben’s Soft Pretzels is targeting markets across the United States such as Cincinnati, Detroit, Louisville, Indianapolis, Chicago and northern Florida. With the goal to create high-traffic real estate opportunities for prospective franchisees, executives signed master lease agreements with Walmart and Meijer. In 2016 alone, Ben’s Soft Pretzels will open in eight Meijer superstores, on track to be within every newly constructed location.

Ben’s Soft Pretzels is a quick-serve franchise opportunity that offers a simple business model with prime real estate locations. With investment levels ranging from $124,000-$308,000, executives are looking for entrepreneurs who can commit to an entire market.

“Our business started with humble beginnings at a farmers market and because of that we’re even more excited to see what we can accomplish by adding qualified franchise partners to the Ben’s Soft Pretzels family,” Krider said.