SELMA — For one local couple aiming to start their own business, 2020 was a salty year indeed.
Couple Viviana and Nancy Sisneros’ dream of opening their own eatery hit multiple snags in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and personal tragedies.
“I’m very determined. I know my wife is determined and we will make sure we get this going, somehow some way,” said Viviana.
The couple rented out a space at 1920 High St. in Selma in August but have yet to move in due to financial troubles. They’ve instead been operating their pretzel business, cheekily named Knotty Chix, out of their home for the time being.
After a medical retirement from military service, Viviana was in search of a new career and after years of cooking food to her fellow service men and women, she figured opening an eatery would be a great path to take.
The two committed fully to the endeavor. Nancy quit her job and cashed out her retirement funds to help see the project come to life.
“We have to do it 100 percent. If we have any sort of fear or pause, it will never come to fruition,” Viviana said.
While searching for a location for the business, Viviana’s father became ill after having a stroke. The couple put the restaurant endeavor on hold to care for him on a 24/7 basis.
Her father ultimately died over the summer and the months of committed caregiving put its strain on the couples’ savings.
That, combined with the fact that they have been paying rent on a location they have yet to be able to operate from, has left them will very little of the funds needed to renovate their location into the tip-top pretzel-making kitchen they need it to be.
They are currently looking for grants and loans but have had trouble securing them. They are also looking for investors and have created a GoFundMe account to crowdsource funds to officially open.
Originally envisioned to be a chicken wing restaurant, the idea switched after a chance snack encounter.
Playing with an experimental recipe that saw the combination of a soft pretzel with chunks of Hot Cheetos, the couple saw that they could find a niche putting a unique spin on an old favorite.
The pretzels have become a hit in the area, garnering more than 1,300 likes on Facebook and hundreds of Instagram followers.
“That’s what makes it so rewarding, is seeing our customers happy and knowing we have a unique spin to pretzels that other shops don’t,” Viviana said.
The couple make anywhere from a few dozen to more than 100 pretzels every day, depending on order volume. All pretzels are made fresh for pick up.
The popularity can be attributed to word-of-mouth, social media and the duo’s charitable pretzel donations to local law enforcement and first responders.
The Knotty Chix pretzels are currently available to order from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday by calling or texting 559-727-0359 or via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/knottychix.
Flavors currently offered include classic plain and salted pretzels, Hot Cheeto, raisin, street corn, caramel, S’mores, pepperoni, jalapeno, marzipan and la lechera and many more.