Auntie Anne Beiler is a speaker, author, and entrepreneur that inspires audiences with her authentic stories about nearly losing everything, finding purpose in the pain, and rising to a new level of success. It’s hard to walk though a major US airport or shopping mall without seeing Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. She and her husband parlayed her successful business into funding for their hometown Family Center to promote mental, physical and spiritual health. But life was not always pretty.
Jonas and Anne Beiler collapsed when a farm tractor struck and killed their young daughter, Angie. Anne’s pastor, whom she approached for assistance, sexually abused her during her first counseling session. The abuse continued for years as her marriage deteriorated. Eventually, the pastor was dismissed from the church and the Beilers began repairing their relationship. As he saw wise counsel benefited his own marriage, Jonas wanted to help others by offering free counseling services. To support Jonas’ vision to help others, Anne bought a concession stand in 1988 at a busy farmers’ market in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Their soft pretzels were a hit and Auntie Anne’s Hand Rolled Soft Pretzels was born.
Anne’s work to support Jonas’ dream morphed into what became the world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise. Accolades for her entrepreneurship recognized her efforts to inspire, serve and give. Today the Beiler’s Family Center partners with community organizations to offer counseling, healthcare options, education, and more. Anne credits God with sustaining her, quoting King David in the Psalms, “For you God are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.”
“We all need that hiding place,” she affirms. “The reason I never wanted to tell anyone about the secrets in my life was that I was ashamed, and afraid, and scared that people would no longer love me. So I tried to hide my ‘stuff’ from everyone. But this kind of hiding only made it worse. … Confession allows us to hide in God and be surrounded with songs of victory and not floodwaters of judgment.” Anne now lives in Texas with her husband, Jonas, and she travels, internationally, sharing her story with women and entrepreneurs at conferences and events.