Auntie Anne's Pretzels has rolled out a new store design prototype, the first in the 1,540-unit chain's history. The new design is intended to incorporate the look and feel of a home kitchen with warmer tones, prominent brand messaging and enhanced equipment.

Design highlights include wood tones on the storefronts, blue pendant lighting with a copper inner accent, a modern display case, copper ovens, a blue-colored mixer and additional brand messaging integrated into the décor. While all new locations will feature the new design, the prototype is being tested at Park City Center in Lancaster, Pa., before being rolled-out to the franchise system for gradual remodeling.

"Auntie Anne's built its business on making fresh, delicious soft pretzels, one at a time, and we wanted that message to be front and center in the new design," says Tré Musco, president and chief creative officer at Tesser, which worked with the company to create the new prototype.

By moving portions of the front counters back a few feet, customers feel like they are stepping into the kitchen. With its warm whites and rich blue tones, copper finishes and blonde woods, the color palette conjures up images of traditional country bakeries and kitchens. Once they encounter the storefront, customers can get a front-row seat to Auntie Anne's team members mixing, rolling and twisting pretzel dough for baking.

To reinforce that the pretzels are baked fresh throughout the day, the new design places eye-catching blue electric mixers in full view and makes a hero out of the copper-finished ovens. Additionally, the sleek warming display case shines a spotlight on the fresh-baked products.

Graphics call out two key words — baked and fresh — in large wall art that say "Baked from Scratch" and "Simple Fresh Original," providing visual reinforcement for existing customers and new customers as they approach Auntie Anne's. The menu boards are designed to look like black chalkboards with type that looks handwritten and images of pretzel offerings and old-style lemonade.