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

The Week of 10,000 Candy Apples

18 March, 2013

Autumn and Halloween at Cromer’s during the 70’s and 80’s meant a store full of customers. School carnivals were in full swing and PTO members were in our store filling their carts with novelties for prizes at their events. Sometimes there would be 6 or more carts per order overflowing with merchandise as a group would check out at the register. One particular week when the fair was in town and the health department had decreed the vendors there could not prepare their own candy apples, we made 10,000 candy apples! Every one of our employees who made the apples had their fingers wrapped in band aids because of the blisters that were formed from spinning the apples!

-Carolette Cromer Turner

A Woman’s Touch

08 March, 2013

Of course anytime you increase your floor space you need to have merchandise to fill it up. My mother and her team of ladies worked hard to look for unique novelties, paper products, costumes and decorations to put in stock. Suddenly we were stocking masks of every sort, bridal and baby shower trinkets, cake toppers, novelties for school carnivals, costumes, wigs, tickets, paper tableware and on and on. My mother brought to life another whole side of the Cromer’s experience. At a time when there were no big box stores and no internet, Cromer’s was the place to come if you needed most anything for a party, carnival or any event. The phrase got to be “if you can’t find it at Cromer’s, you can’t find it!”

-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

My, how “times” have changed.

15 February, 2013

In the “Legal Pad of Thoughts” (see last blog) is an entry about a clock. It seems when Cromer’s moved into the brick and mortar store at 1235 Assembly, we had a Western Union clock. Western Union would feed a wire from their company to any business that needed a clock for the cost of $1.00 per month. (This was before electric clocks). A signal would correct any discrepancies in time each hour on the hour. Though I have a clock about the same size as that old Western Union clock in my office, today we generally rely on our cell phones to tell us the time or let us know where we need to be.

-Carolette Cromer Turner

78 Years of Loving Our Customers and Staff

08 February, 2013

Recently I came upon an old legal pad with notes from my uncle which thankfully validated my previous memories about our business. One of the points of interest that stood out to me was that Cromer’s never had segregated restrooms or water fountains. In my uncle’s notes he states that up to 50 peanut hucksters (men mostly who sold peanuts on the street) would come by daily to use the restroom and to fill their cups with water. My grandfather always believed in treating all people fairly. Everyone was given the same courteous service no matter race or creed, customer or employee. We continue to offer the same kind of service today at Cromer’s. Whether a person purchases a two thousand dollar piece of equipment or a $1.00 bag of peanuts, everyone is important who takes the time to walk into my business.

-Carolette Cromer Turner

Taking over the National Guard Armory

18 January, 2013

To the left of the original building we leased and across an alley was the National Guard Armory Building. When that was vacated (I believe in the early 60’s) we leased that building for our warehouse, shipping and printing departments. It was three stories tall with only stairs to move products up and down. I still have visions of men being hired off the street to unload trucks with fifty pound bags of popcorn and moving them into the warehouse. Today that building houses The Vista Bank.

-Carolette Cromer Turner

A Hole in the Wall Means a BIGGER Cromer’s

11 January, 2013

The showroom space for concession equipment and supplies, vending equipment and supplies and now bingo equipment and supplies was quickly filling up. Customers began asking for more products in the novelty line for school and church carnivals. In the early sixties, the building that served as a gas station and auto supply business was becoming vacant so guess what? We cut another hole through another wall and we leased the space that would be known as our Wholesale/ Retail Showroom until a tragic fire destroyed it in December 1993.

- Carolette Cromer Turner