DaH Pretzel Guys

Marquette area duo crafts made-from-scratch fare

Hans Andel, left, and Davin Makela, co-owners of DaH Pretzel Guys, stand in front of their table at the Ore Dock Brewing Co. in Marquette, where they sell a variety of made-from-scratch pretzels every Tuesday from 6 p.m. until they sell out. (Journal photo by Jaymie Depew)

MARQUETTE — You may have eyed-up or tried a fresh, handcrafted pretzel from DaH Pretzel Guys at the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market, local breweries and bars, or festivals and events throughout the area, but expect to see more as the business continues to expand since its January inception.

DaH Pretzel Guys is operated by co-owners Davin Makela and Hans Andel. The business name is “an acronym of sorts and kind of a play on the Yooper dialogue,” Makela said, explaining that “DaH” stands for “Davin and Hans.”

After Andel and Makela met through mutual friends several years ago, they were playing trivia and “got to talking about operating a food truck.” At that time, food trucks were nonexistent in the Marquette area.

“Hans is really into barbecue and I was making more sweet treats and desserts at that point, and we were talking about a collaboration and what we would hypothetically do if we started a food truck,” Makela said. “So our spin was that we’ll try to make as much from scratch as possible and a lot of my desserts have chocolate in them so after looking at recipes, figuring out costs and stuff, I thought, ‘Huh, I wonder if I could make chocolates from scratch?’ So I Googled it and found out you can.”

Makela, who leases the kitchen in the Masonic Center in downtown Marquette for his chocolate business, Davin’s Chocolates, said they threw a pizza party in the building for friends when another opportunity conveniently came along.

“As we were baking the pizzas, the masons were having a meeting and some people came sniffing in the kitchen, so I told them to try a piece,” Makela said. “They liked it and asked if we could do their bingo nights every Wednesday and make pizzas for them, or whatever else we wanted to do.

“After our first week of doing the pizzas there (we thought), ‘Oh, maybe we should sell pizza by the slice during after-bar hours,’ you know, thinking of some other business ideas instead of just doing pizza nights, and then we were experimenting with some ideas and thought about making a pretzel crust pizza.

“I was like, ‘We should do a pretzel crust pizza!’ and Hans said, ‘We should probably make pretzels first.’

“So we took our pizza dough recipe and it turned out to be a really good pretzel recipe, too, once we actually made the pretzels,” Makela continued. “So then, after doing it a few times, we got the recipe pretty well down and approached the Ore Dock (Brewing Co.) and brought them a box of samples.”

Since then, every Tuesday, DaH Pretzel Guys sets up a table around 6 p.m. with a variety of pretzels at the brewery until they sell out. According to Makela, they’ll bring five to seven pretzels every time they’re set up anywhere with about eight different sauces to complement the pretzels. Some popular pretzels include plain salted, parmesan garlic, cinnamon sugar, cheddar bacon, sriracha honey and pepperoni and cheese.

“We let customers create their own combos basically. You chose your pretzel and chose whichever free sauce you want,” Makela said.

Makela said he’s also been brewing a nitro coffee, called the B.W. NitroBru Werks, which The Delft Bistro recently started making craft cocktails and lattes with.

“The Delft Bistro is making cocktails with the nitro brew so if you wanted something extra in your nitro coffee, they do lattes and cocktails. They were experimenting quite a bit (last) weekend apparently,” Makela said. “They tapped the first keg on Thursday and by (Tuesday) I had to bring another.”

For the 17th annual Blueberry Festival in Marquette, held Friday, DaH Pretzel Guys had a blueberry pretzel that was made with wild Upper Peninsula blueberries and cream cheese for people to try, as well as nitro coffee frappes with various flavors, including a U.P. wild berry syrup.

DaH Pretzel Guys’ pretzels can also be found at Blackrocks Brewery at 4 p.m. every Wednesday, Barrel and Beam at noon on Saturday’s, once a month at Upper Hand Brewery in Escanaba, The Royal Pub in Ishpeming every day, and the Marquette farmers market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday’s. Davin’s Chocolates, B.W. NitroBru Werks and pretzels are all sold at the market, at the Marquette Commons.

“We kind of tailor the events,” as far as what to bring, Makela said.

DaH Pretzel Guys is willing to cater any event, Makela said, as long as the schedules correlate.

For more information on DaH Pretzel Guys or to contact them, visit https://www.facebook.com/DaHPretzelGuys. For more information about Davin’s Chocolates, visit https://www.facebook.com/DavinsChocolates.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal.net.

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