News

Have a Spooktacular Halloween with Cromer's

21 October, 2014

Halloween is just around the corner and nothing is better than our spooky sweets. Just like the infamous Holiday Tins, we also offer Halloween Tins. In order to be the best host or hostess, it is imperative that your guests’ taste buds are satisfied. Purchase one of our Halloween Tins to have up on the table for your guests to snack on throughout the evening.

This is not just a regular tin either. It is a decorative Halloween tin guaranteed to get you and your company in the Halloween spirit. All tins will be one gallon in size and can be filled with a variety of peanuts and popcorn flavors. To order yours today, come by the store or contact customerservice@cromers.com

In addition to the Halloween Tins, you can also celebrate All Hallows’ Eve with some of our orange and black, Halloween Boo Corn. These come in a variety of sizes and can be purchased in store or online, fresh every day.

Whatever you choose, be sure to come by the store on Saturday, October 31st to see what costumes our staff will be dressed up in. You might even get a treat! Happy Halloween from your friends at Cromer's. 

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! 

Customer Service is important to us...and should be to you too!

07 October, 2014

Want to make a positive and lasting impression on your customers (of course, don’t we all)? We want to encourage you to send one of our gourmet gift tins or gift boxes to your customers this Fall. Filled with scrumdelicious (yes, we’re a fan of Winnie-the-Pooh) popcorn – salted, buttered, caramel, cheese, and other good treats like our roasted peanuts, our treats are sure to keep your business’s name top-of-mind with your customers. Check out our gift ideas here  or come into the store to pick them out yourself


          

We asked one of our attorney clients for some feedback from his customers. This particular attorney sends our gift tins to his referral sources and clients throughout the course of the year. Following are direct responses from that attorney’s clients:

“I’m delighted I could send you a couple pieces of
business..., but you certainly didn’t need to send me the
popcorn. Very thoughtful and yummy and I’m quite certain
with my college-age son home this weekend, that it will
have disappeared by Sunday night. ”

 

“Thanks for the Popcorn! What a nice Surprise. It is delicious, especially the
caramel! Lol”

 

“I received a humongous tin of popcorn yesterday. My office mates are diligently helping
me work through it, one bowlful at a time. Looks like it will take several of us multiple
bowlfuls per day for quite a while, but I think we are equal to the task. Thanks very
much!!”

Let us help you make a fantastic and lasting impression with your customers – contact us today at 1-800-322-7688, customerservice@cromers.com or come by the store at 1700 Huger Street to learn more about our customer loyalty programs.

 

 

Childhood Memories

28 July, 2014

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

Going nuts by Chris Worthy

11 February, 2014

After 75 years, Cromer’s P-nuts is still a must-go destination for party supplies


Carolette Cromer Turner admits to a few nuts in her family tree. After all, she is in the peanut business.

As the third generation owner of Cromer’s Peanuts, Turner embraces her family’s legacy and her grandfather’s sense of humor. In 1935, Julian Cromer began what would become an integral part of Columbia’s history.

“My grandfather was a farmer in Lexington,” Turner said. “(Farmers) would fill up their trucks with produce and bring it over to Assembly Street. That block between Lady and Gervais, and maybe even one more up and one more down, they put sheds up.”

But Cromer soon came to specialize in peanuts, something that caused Turner’s grandmother to question the family’s survival.

“I remember her telling me — how would he sell enough peanuts for us to live?” she said. “He was an astute businessman with a great sense of humor.”

When a competing peanut salesman declared his wares the best and Cromer’s the worst, a slogan was born.

“All day long that man would holler out, ‘Don’t buy Cromer’s peanuts. Mine are the best,’” Turner said. “(Cromer) tore a piece of cardboard off and put a sign up: Worst in town.”

Soon, Cromer guaranteed his assertion.

Cromer’s grew as customers began to ask for popcorn and vending supplies. Much of Turner’s childhood is connected to her family’s business, which she recounts with typical Cromer humor.

“We did our roasting and boiling,” she said. “I can remember us selling our peanuts across this warm metal bin. As a child it always reminded me of a casket.”

As the business grew physically, adding one building after another, Turner’s father added more vending supplies, beginning with 1,000 pounds of bubble gum, much to Julian Cromer’s chagrin.

“My grandfather said, ‘Oh my gosh, we’ll never sell it,’” Turner said.

But they did sell it and the next 1,000 pounds as well. 

At one time, Cromer’s had a store at Dutch Square Mall, complete with monkeys. It was typical of Julian Cromer, who loved the attention the store received but who also loved oddities in general. He owned geese, peacocks and a talking parrot. 

As Turner celebrates 75 years of Cromer’s Peanuts, she is returning the business to its roots, even if in a high-tech way.

“We are going back more to our core products: peanuts, popcorn, candies,” she said. “With the advent of the Internet and the big box stores, we are constantly changing to stay in business. You have to evolve.”

Part of that evolution is found in online sales, but the Columbia store remains fun for local customers who make it a priority stop for birthday party and tailgating supplies.

Even before they walk in the Huger Street store, customers know they are in for something a little out of the ordinary. A sign outside declares, “Many nuts pass through these doors.”

“One day, we had a disgruntled customer,” Turner recalled. “He came in and said, ‘I take issue with what you have on the door.’”

Turner’s employee simply replied, “Sir, we’re in the peanut business.”

But most customers get the joke and appreciate the family’s wit. Occasionally they even surprise Turner, such as the time a woman entered the store on behalf of her deceased father.

“She said, ‘His last request was that I pick up his ashes and go to every one of his favorite places in Columbia,’” Turner said. “I said, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to bring him inside?”

The customer’s reply? “No, he’s fine in the car.”

Turner clearly has the business in her blood. She makes a point of working the sales floor as many days as she can and she finds family not just in those who share her name. Many of the company’s employees have been around for years, some for decades. The employee in charge of boiling peanuts has been part of the Cromer’s family for more than four decades.

Whether in the store or on line, Turner wants customers to laugh and find moments of pure joy. She saw that attitude recently in an older couple who delighted in Cromer’s barrels of old-fashioned candy. 

“They spent $52 on loose candy,” Turner said. “They were like 5-year-olds. They had so much fun.”

And that makes the worst peanuts something worth savoring.

“It should be a place that makes you feel good,” Turner said.

Cromer’s Café is open for Coffee

23 October, 2013

Two pleasures we will always enjoy- sipping a great cup of freshly brewed coffee, and reminiscing about our past. Let’s celebrate the best by giving in to life’s grand passion: Coffee drinking.

Carolina v. Clemson; Remembering “BIG THURSDAY”

29 April, 2013

The corner of Assembly and Lady Streets, where Cromer’s was located, was always a busy corner and no busier than a Carolina v. Clemson game! How many people remember “BIG THURSDAY?” We would put our sales people on the corner with bags of boiled and roasted peanuts to sell to the people in their cars. Traffic would get so backed up on Assembly Street going to the stadium! Fans didn’t want to get out of line to purchase their peanuts so we went to them. There would be sales people from local florists down the street selling the large chrysanthemum corsages: either white for Carolina or yellow for Clemson. What happy times those were to watch young men purchasing corsages for their wives or girlfriends as they were buying peanuts for themselves!

- Carolette Cromer Turner

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

Making Customers Ghoulish for Halloween

03 April, 2013

Halloween at Cromer’s was quite an experience years ago. We were the only place in town where you could purchase costumes, masks and make up! The week prior to Halloween was always an exciting one with most people waiting until the last minute to purchase their costumes. We would gladly help our customers with ideas on what to put together for an outfit. USC students would fill the store on Halloween day and most of our sales staff would still be at the store long past closing helping those young people make their purchases. Though we no longer sell those items, we still pride ourselves in helping our customers with ideas for gift giving, events, and concession sales.

-Carolette Cromer Turner