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INDIANAPOLIS–Hoosier companies that usually end up with displays at the International Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago every year ended up having an easier time of it, putting up their displays at the Indiana Convention Center. The expo was held in Indy because of COVID restrictions in the Windy City.

“It’s a twisted pretzel, hard and crunchy, known for its unique crunch,” said Brad Smith, representing Tell City Pretzels, established in Tell City in 1858. “The original recipe was a Swiss immigrant to the town who had them in his bakery.”

LISTEN: Inside the Expo

Smith said the company usually sets up in Chicago, but they experienced much more hospitality and help getting their display set up in Indy.

The pretzels have been getting the international exposure, said Smith, for about nine years.

“It’s a regional favorite in southern Indiana. It’s one of those things that people grew up eating,” he said. “Generations have actually eaten the pretzel and continued on from grandparents to grandchildren and so on.”

Smith said another attraction to the product has been a trend during the pandemic. People want to know where their food and other products come from.

Maybe some of the chocolate you eat comes from Indianapolis. Endangered Species Chocolate has been operating in Indiana since 2005. During the pandemic they sent their workers home for two weeks to sanitize and continued to meet the demand for chocolate, made with simple ingredients.

“What really sets us apart is our true impact. We give ten percent of net profits to conservation all around the world,” said Whitney Bembenick, representing the company.

“We are really proud to be based 100 percent here in Indiana. As an organization we employ 45 to 50 Hoosiers,” she said. “If you look on the back of the package it says Indianapolis, Indiana. That’s pretty cool.”

At least fifteen exhibitors are from Indiana.