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Twist of Faith: The Story of Anne Beiler, Founder of Auntie Anne's Pretzels Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 4, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At first glance, this spiritual autobiography might appear to be another of those rags-to-riches memoirs that retired business owners love to write. Happily, Beiler puts an unusual twist on her story, interweaving the chronicle of her business's startup and phenomenal growth (farmer's market stand in 1988, 700 domestic and 119 foreign locations 15 years later) with a candid personal account of bereavement, abuse and adultery; family and workplace struggles; and extended periods of grief and depression. Sometimes the chronological leapfrogging can be confusing—are we in Texas now, or Pennsylvania? and what year is it again?—but often insights from one time period illuminate struggles from another as Beiler alternates between incredible naïveté, especially about predatory males, and sharp-eyed business savvy. Money does play an important role: I see God giving you things you wouldn't believe, a friend predicts. I see houses, I see land, I see cars.... Yet Beiler's first priority is philanthropy, not accumulation. Religious readers will appreciate not only her generosity but also her inspirational accounts of prophecies, answered prayers and, above all, forgiveness. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Anne Beiler is the founder of Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels, the world's largest mall-based pretzel franchise. Established in 1988, the business has grown to 150 corporate staff supporting over 300 franchisees and their 950 locations worldwide. In 2004, the Auntie Anne's franchise system generated over $250 million in sales and gave over $1 million to charitable organizations. Anne's vision to serve, inspire, and give has been recognized many times. She was named one of America's 500 women entrepreneurs by Working Woman and Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. magazine. Anne's entrepreneurial insights have also been featured on The Food Network's Unwrapped, and The Oprah Winfrey Show; and in magazines such as Fortune, Nation's Restaurant News, and Guideposts.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785223231
  • ASIN: B0046LUOZU
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,948,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Although I did find the "back and forth" between the past and the present to be a little confusing, overall, this book is well worth reading because it shows many of today's problems cut across all social classes and religions. For instance, I was quite amazed at Anne's daughters not wanting to go to school, trying homeschooling, partying, etc. I would have expected her children to be more ambitious, somehow, but perhaps those are my own biases. At any rate, it seems the Catholics are not alone in terms of predatory priests, and it is really shocking that a Mennonite preacher could get away with such abuse for so long. It just undermines the whole fabric of the community. Anne internalized things, blaming herself, when it fact, it was the behavior of others that was wrong. One of the major thoughts I have after reading this book is that Anne never set out to do any of this, and accomplished an enormous amount, whereas many children from upper class families set out to "conquer the world," and never manage to do so. There is a lot to be learned from someone who does not come from wealth, but then becomes successful. The fact that she has shared so much of this wealth does put many others to shame, those who do not consider helping others in need.
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Format: Hardcover
Since I am only 5 minutes from where Annie Beiler lives and am very familiar with the Auntie Anne business I was most interested in reading this book. I bought one as soon as it was available and read it in a short time. I must say that I did find it a bit confusing going back and forth from her past and present and I understood this when talking about the death of her daughter and how she has and will continue to impact her life, but with the entire book written that way it got a bit confusing. That is why I didn't feel that I could go higher than 3 stars. I must give her husband 5 stars for standing by her throughout her difficult times and she does not hesistate to give him credit. For those who do not know her business she has made a tremendous positive impact in our local community. I would recommend reading this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anne Beiler's account is the perfect example of how appearances can be deceptive, how an outside view is not necessarily someone's inner "truth." Anne was busy, busy, busy building a super-successful business, while inside she was battling depression, questioning her self-worth and beating herself up for past choices and situations.
She started her first store at a farmers' market in 1988 with a $6,000 loan from her father-in-law. Her husband reworked the original pretzel recipe, created something amazing and almost immediately the business was profitable. She expanded to other farmers' markets and within a year she was licensing the business. More and more people came to her asking how they could own an Auntie Anne's store and the company kept growing at an amazing rate. By the end of 1990, there were 50 locations in nine states! She had a large extended family that played an extensive role in the growth and success of the business. Over 17 years Auntie Anne's built more than 850 locations worldwide.
So you read just that much and you think, "Wow! I want that kind of success!" Yeah, of course you do. So do I. But that's just the outward story.
Inside, Anne was fighting demons. She was still devastated by the death of her toddler daughter years earlier. She was hiding a secret from the rest of the world that was eating away at her. Her family life was strained at best; she felt disconnected from her husband and her two teenage daughters raged out of control. So much pain and guilt. You wonder how she survived it.
No doubt much of the reason was her connection to God. In a completely non-preachy or offensive way, (sometimes you mention God and people back away really quickly!), she talks about her faith.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Someone else who refuses to take responsibility. Whatever bad happened was the fault of an abuser or someone trying to control her and never did she take responsibility for her selfishness. Oh, she moaned and groaned about her guilt and how bad she felt and how lovely it was to be forgiven over and over but there was no sign that she ever actually learned anything. The book is neither inspirational nor we'll written. She has achieved an amazing success, good for her. And generously gives to charity. Also good for her. But unless you think cheating) on your husband and ignoring your daughters is the way to get rich, this is not the book for you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had the privilege of seeing and hearing Anne Beiler at the Women of Purpose conference in Baldwinsville. Anne stressed that your healing comes when you confess your past. I cried through this book, with Anne's honesty and faith. This is a book I will share with others, both those needing forgiveness and those needing to forgive.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It shows me that God has a plan for anyone if we follow His rules and not make up
our own. Don't sell yourself short, because we are children of God, Trust Him always
and He will direct your path.
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Format: Hardcover
Anne Beiler's inspiring story of her life made it a very worthwhile book to read despite the layout of the book with mixing the past and present. The story about the tragic loss of her daughter cuts to the heart of any Mom. What I loved most was the tenacity to keep moving forward despite the many difficulties and challenges that she faced.

As a Christian, I love the fact that she is not shy about expressing her faith in God and crediting Him for helping her through all the ups and downs in her personal and professional life. This isn't just about how the best pretzels on earth came about (although that part is fascinating) but it's about family, faith and finding fortune by persevering.

After reading this book, what I realized most of all is that it's the journey that counts (not fame or fortune) and that's where you'll find your greatest blessings. Often they are right under your nose.
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