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Supporting your local nut house

03 November, 2014

What makes Cromer’s different from other competitors? Sure you can go buy popcorn at your local grocery store, you could get coffee from a chain like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts and you could get your party supplies from Party City, but why come to Cromer’s?

Cromer’s is a local family business that started back in 1935. We talked about the beginning of the business with Mr. Julian Cromer and his peanuts in last week’s blog, but why should you come to Cromer’s for things other than our famous p-nuts and popcorn? Though Cromer’s has a big personality and representation around the Columbia community, it is still a “small business.” The Small Business Administration defines a small business as an enterprise having fewer than 500 employees and with only 22 we certainly fall into that category. According to an article on Business Insider, Only 50% of small businesses survive five years, though most (70%) hit the two-year mark. Cromer’s will hit its 80th birthday coming up, shooting down that statistic. However, the only reason Cromer’s has been able to stay open for so long is because of our loyal customers like you! Cromer’s strives to attain the best customer service in the area to make your experience better than it would be anywhere else. The majority of the employees have been working for Cromer’s for more than 20 years, so they are pros at what they do.

 

Here are a few other things that make Cromer’s special:

  • Popcorn: our popcorn is popped fresh every day. No, our bright yellow bags are not lying when they say “FRESH POPCORN” on them. Though it is popped fresh, if you keep it sealed tight, it can last up to 6-8 weeks. Our popcorn is also popped in coconut oil as opposed to the traditional canola oil. There are two oils that stay stable without the addition of citric acid, and of the two, coconut oil is the healthier option. So not only does our popcorn taste better because of it, it also allows you to enjoy much more with less shame. Search anywhere on the web and you will find that people much more prefer coconut oil popped popcorn to any other method.
  • P-nuts: along with our popcorn, our peanuts are boiled, packaged and placed on the shelves fresh every morning. You can often find Mr. Wade aka the Real Peanut Man on the sales floor with a shopping cart full of fresh peanuts every morning filling our fridge.
  • Café: sure you could grab a coffee at Starbucks or DD on your way to work, but why not support your local businesses and come to Cromer’s? Not only is Cromer’s a local business in itself; we also use a local micro roaster for our coffee beans as well. Once you taste Cromer’s coffee, you will not want to try anything else. It is full of flavor and made with love. We have had the same barista for some time and he has mastered the art of making coffee. Along with our delicious locally roasted coffee, we also offer free parking (which is hard to find in Columbia), free Wi-Fi and the comfiest couch in Cola.
  • Café 2.0: along with our coffee, our café also sells gourmet sandwiches, and a variety of breakfast items. Though the selection is not a large one, the sandwiches are made from fresh meats, cheeses and bread. Nothing is frozen- everything from the meats to the bagels is purchased fresh weekly. The croissants are even purchased from a local French bakery, Crepes and Croissants.
  • Party supplies: If you are holding a large party or cookout, Cromer’s is the hot spot for all of your supplies. Not only do we carry (and blow up for you) balloons, streamers, etc., but we also have plates, napkins, cups and tablecloths for your party. Anything you could possibly need, you more than likely can find it here.
  • Rentals: along with your party planning, why not go to the next level and rent a popcorn or cotton candy machine. Nothing makes people light up like seeing fresh popcorn or cotton candy. The steps are simple and you are bound to make an impression.
  • Events: If you do not want to make the popcorn or cotton candy yourselves, or if you want something more difficult to make like funnel cakes or boiled peanuts, then you can hire the Cromer’s special events’ staff to come out and cater your event. Though we are not your average catering company, we are a company with years of fair and carnival experience to provide the tastiest treats to you and your company.
  • ASI: One of the things Cromer’s offers that is not always known, is their Advertising Specialties. If you want anything customized for your company or organization from t-shirts to toilet paper, we can do that for you. With more than 800,000 products to choose from, you can build your business with us.

Sure all of these things can be purchased or found at other chain stores across the state, but they will never care about you like Cromer’s does. You are not just another credit card number or another face here at Cromer’s. You are family and we appreciate your support! 

 

Popping at the speed of sound

14 October, 2014

Chuck Yeager was an American test pilot who was the first person to break the sound barrier. If you don’t know what that means, that is when a speeding object (such as an airplane) passes the speed of sound.

            We are not pilots, but we do know a little something about breaking sound barriers. Every morning when our doors open for the staff at 7:30 a.m. they head straight to the food processing area and turn on the popcorn machines. You may not believe the bright yellow bags of popcorn on the shelves when they say “Fresh Popcorn”, but we can assure you they are more than accurate. By the time our first customer walks in at 8 a.m. the shelves are stocked with fresh popped popcorn. This is a result of our super speedy staff that surpasses the speed of sound running around the processing area popping and stuffing bags so that you can have them fresh, every day. Yeager made his history-setting flight on October 14, 1947, but we have been working at the speed of sound since 1935.

            If you come in mid-day and would prefer to have a warm snack for your ride home, then head up to the snack bar and ask for a fresh bag, box or bucket of popcorn. We have a popper right in the snack bar just for that reason. It too is turned on at 7:30 a.m. and isn’t turned off until closing time. Anytime of day, any day of the week (except for Sunday) come by and get your fresh popped popcorn. If you want to ship it to friends or family located elsewhere, no worries, that is all fresh too! You can order online at www.cromers.com or come into the store Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. or Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. See you then! 

Childhood Memories

28 July, 2014

Cromer's is my family, I will always love it.

Recognizing Wade; 42 years of making Cromer’s the Guaranteed Worst in Town.

22 April, 2013

Today one of my employees, Wade, received an award for “Employee of the Quarter”. This gentleman has been with Cromer’s 42 years boiling our peanuts. He is actually only one of three men who have ever held this position. The other two were brothers and one of them the uncle of Wade. This job has certainly been kept in the family! I am proud of Wade as I am all of my employees. How many people do you know who have stayed at a job for 42 years?

- Carolette Cromer Turner

78 years; still Family Owned and Operated

15 April, 2013

Cromer’s has always been a family business. My grandfather believed in the family working together. Initially all four of his sons worked in the business, the younger two while attending college. (One of my uncles even put a jar in the business which had a sign that stated “Perry’s College Fund.” He was amazed people actually dropped coins in it!) Eventually my mother and one of my aunts joined the business then all of my sisters and me, plus two of our cousins. Even many of our employees were related to us or were related to each other. While we don’t have as much family involved today, I still consider us a family business with all the same joys and issues any family deals with.

-Carolette Cromer Turner

Remembering the Jif Chips

25 February, 2013

Once we moved into the building on the corner of Lady and Assembly which was an old gas station/tire store, we added a snack-bar complete with sno kones, popcorn, boiled and roasted peanuts, candy apples and Jif chips. Jif chips that were about the size of a quarter and looked more like a small piece of orange plastic. They were poured into hot oil and fried. When they came out they were jet puffed and tasted quite good. I can’t begin to imagine what these were made of but we sure sold a lot of them and to this day, I will have some people come in and ask if we still have those available. Now I know those people have been around quite awhile to remember those chips!

-Carolette Cromer Turner

From P-Nuts to Bubble Gum and Everything in Between

03 December, 2012

From the small store at 1235 Assembly Street, my dad began to realize we needed to add other products and if we were to add more products we needed more room. He leased the building to the right of our store as soon as it was available; cut a hole through the brick wall that separated the buildings and soon it was filled with concession equipment and supplies for cotton candy, popcorn and snokones. Then he added vending equipment and supplies. When my dad ordered that first truck load of bubble gum my grandfather was sure it was a mistake and they would never sell all of it! Imagine his surprise when it sold and customers asked for novelties and capsules to fill the machines as well.

-Carolette Cromer Turner

Granddaddy Cromer

26 October, 2012

My granddaddy Cromer was a very humble man with a wonderful sense of humor. He was a son of a Lutheran minister and believed in treating all his customers by the Golden Rule. His desk where he ran the business at 1235 Assembly St. was a pull out board next to the retail counter. Around this he kept his files, a rolodex with names and numbers and there he counted out the money from each day’s sales to make his bank deposits. He never had a formal office but ran a very successful business from where he could see all his customers come in the front door.

-Carolette Cromer Turner