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Wrestling for Pretzels

Or vice versa. Twisting dough and twisting on mats--how they combine for big charity
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This story appears in the September 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
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When Chuck Kreiner, director of the Top Gun Wrestling Tournament in Alliance, Ohio, exclaimed, "That's fantastic!" he wasn't talking about a match. The source of his excitement? The news that We're Rolling Pretzel Co. donated its total weekend proceeds to the annual event-proceeds that amounted to $3,405 in 1999 and $3,783 in 2000. Kevin Krabill, 32-year-old founder and president of We're Rolling Pretzel Co., modestly says he's just giving back to the students who support his company.

But Krabill wasn't always able to give back. After earning a bachelor's degree in accounting, he became CPA-certified and spent five years working for a firm "with no sense of the big picture." Although successful, he missed his passion-retailing-and wanted to "make a difference with young people." Both problems were solved in October 1996 when he opened his first pretzel store.

Since then, he has steered his youthful employees toward college and has set a good example, with the tournament being his magnum opus, so to speak. The money raised is used for school improvements and to send disadvantaged wrestlers to camp. Even though the tournament is good exposure, Krabill sees it as more than that, calling it "PR you can't buy." Apparently, Krabill's once pinned-down spirit has rebounded for the win.

Edition: May 2017

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