Wetzel’s Pretzels announced the upcoming opening of its first location in Brazil. This Wetzel’s is scheduled to open toward the end of July at the Shopping Vila Velha Mall, a new shopping center in Vitória, one of Brazil’s most populated cities.

To launch Wetzel’s first location in Brazil, the company partnered with master franchisee Richard Holzer, a veteran in the wholesale food business. Holzer and Wetzel’s have a strategic plan to open five Wetzel’s Pretzels in Brazil over the next two years.

Wetzel’s first location in Brazil follows the same business model, and offers the same products as each Wetzel’s in the United States, but also caters to local tastes. Along with pretzels baked fresh throughout the day, Holzer and Wetzel’s will offer a signature lemonade drink made specifically for the market, with Brazilian-grown lemons, in addition to orange juice, another popular drink in the region.

“The international market continues to embrace Wetzel’s Pretzels, and with the emergence of a new shopping center in Vitória, we felt now was the opportune time to bring Wetzel’s to the country,” says Bill Phelps, CEO and co-founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels. “As Wetzel’s continues its domestic and international expansion, our focus remains the same, securing well-trafficked, desirable real estate, and providing our franchisees with the resources to be successful.”

2014 is Wetzel’s Pretzels 20th anniversary. Along with continued international expansion, the company also recently introduced Wetzel Dog Bites, 100-percent all beef mini hot dogs, wrapped with Wetzel’s pretzel dough, then baked until the pretzel is golden brown. Phelps and Rick Wetzel, who co-founded Wetzel’s Pretzels in 1994, still lead the company today.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, Operations, Wetzel's Pretzels