It's a Family Tradition

27 October, 2014

In 1935, Julian D. Cromer sold peanuts and a variety of vegetables at his one-man stand at the Assembly Street Curb Market in Columbia, S.C. Every morning he packed up his produce and drove downtown to the market where he roasted his own peanuts. The fresh taste was a hit with the locals who were sick and tired of snacking on stale peanuts. By 1937, Cromer's one-man produce stand was booming, but his success could not go on unchallenged; another enterprising local set-up his own peanut stand directly across the aisle from Cromer's. To lure customers, the new competition promised the “Best Peanuts” in Town. He even went so far as to tell everyone who walked by that Cromer’s peanuts were not good. Infuriated by what he heard, Cromer walked back to his produce stand and made a cardboard sign saying "Worst In Town." Later while he was still in a huff, he added one more word "Guaranteed." His competitor was astonished that any man in his right mind would advertise his products that way. When customers walked by and chose between peanut purveyors they made the logical decision--everyone flocked to Cromer's and “Guaranteed Worst in Town” was born. Business was so good in 1939 that Cromer quit selling other produce to devote all his time to the peanut business. After more than 79 years of business, Cromer's is still a landmark in downtown Columbia, proudly displaying their infamous slogan.

Today, Julian’s granddaughter, Carolette Cromer Turner, owns the family business. In the years since Julian Cromer first started his one man produce stand, Cromer's has grown to sell all kinds of fresh and flavorful snacks, as well as concession equipment, party supplies and advertising specialties. Of course, you can still get fresh peanuts. And everything at Cromer's is always “Guaranteed Worst in Town”.

 

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