Photo credit: Lifted Logic

You know her by her brand: Dot’s Pretzels, founded in Velva, North Dakota in 2012. Dorothy Henke is originally from Wahpeton, North Dakota and is married to Randy, also known as “Mr. Dot.” She has three children, Stacey, Blake, and Eric, and a granddaughter, Tianna. Dorothy worked in finance for more than 30 years while creating a savory snack in her kitchen for friends and family gatherings. Now, in addition to her North Dakota bakery, she has one in Arizona and another in Kansas City. 

What inspired you to step out and do your own thing? Nothing, really, but the amount of love and positive feedback received from the first “customers” who sampled the pretzels and my desire to create something unique and special!

What have you sacrificed to do so? Time to actually retire.

Who have been your greatest supporters and/or mentors? The town of Velva (has been my) greatest supporter. Mentors: Pride of Dakota personnel and other Pride of Dakota members.

What is one of the biggest obstacles in your work? Getting to know the food business.

What is the best part of your work and what gives you the most sense of accomplishment? Best part of my work: the people I’ve met. Most sense of accomplishment: when distributors/retailers/consumers taste the pretzels and the comments/stories/reactions.

Describe what you do: I’m doing the research and development. I attend shows and manage social media.

What don’t your customers or clients know that would surprise or shock them to learn about you? I was raised on a dairy farm.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and how would it help your career? I would say, North Dakota. It’s home. Midwest people are considerate, sincere, and generally good people!    

If your employees claimed you had a superpower, what would they say? I never give up.

What is one hobby you have and how does it contribute to your professional life? Hiking — it clears my mind.

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life? My trust in people! There are a lot of good people. You just need to weed out the ones that use and drain your inner self!

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world?” The real world can be draining. Believe in yourself and do the best you can. Trust in yourself; hard work pays off.