Cramer’s history included a major fire that took place in the business complex that caused the bakery to burn down along with other nearby businesses in the 1980s.
As for Cramer’s offerings, “We made everything from scratch from a small item to a large item – cookies, cupcakes, scones, doughnuts, Danish, coffee cakes, pies, all kinds, breads, tea cakes, loaf cakes, cakes and wedding cakes. The specialty items were the fruit basket cake, the fruit basket was made from a butter sponge we split two layers into four layer and filled in the layers with three different types of fruit , then, we covered the cake with freshly made whip cream.
We were also known for our not to sweet butter cream icing and the beehive which was another specialty item.”
Hours of Operation
Cramer’s Bakery was open Mondays through Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The schedule changed one time per year. “We took two weeks off – closed the bakery during the summer for family time, the annual two-week closure was important, considering the many hours that the entire family and non family members dedicated to the business. Growing up I missed my father presence (at home). He worked six to seven days a week (and) about 12 to 14 hours a day. We had to be super quiet during the day, so he could sleep, which was very hard to do. I have learned no one appreciates or values the labor involved in a product when you make everything from scratch and you do not use equipment to do the work for you. My father’s feet, legs, hands were in pain all the time. My uncle had back injuries from heavy lifting too.
Cramer’s had dedicated daily customers, even if it was for a cheap cup of coffee. During the holidays we had two sets of numbers ranging from one to 100 people. The customers would have to take a number, go shopping elsewhere and return to pick up their pre-orders because the lines where out the door for last minute purchases. We had people traveling from San Francisco, Reno, etc. to purchase our items. A lot of our customers were state workers they would order for office meeting and events.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, as a fruit basket cake was completed and placed in the showcase, it was purchased within seconds…my grandfather trained a man by the name of Mark to assemble this particular cake in record speed. He spun the cake plate so fast, used the spatula ever so fast and completed this cake in less than 5 minutes to be sold for around $18.75 at the time and it was considered an 8” cake. This man was the hardest and fastest worker when it came to assembling store front cakes.
Then, there was this precious lady by the name of Kim that would decorate cakes for all sorts of events from birthdays, graduations, anniversaries to wedding. She produced some amazing cakes. I enjoyed watching her make roses and decorate the cake. But, when it came to me decorating at Rosemont Bakery I was not proud of my work. I think it takes patience and perfection to achieve a masterpiece. I often think about this as I live out my life daily. Why am I unable to do things slow I am able to do things slow, if I ask GOD to slow my roll. Growing up having so many responsibilities at a young age and being the oldest I had to accomplish so much more for others versus myself.
My grandfather told his sons prior to his passing, that no wives are allowed in this business! My grandmother was the one that made the deposits at the bank each week. My aunt Janet was needed for decorating cakes then she started working in the store front. Then there was my mom she came in on Sunday’s along with us girls to help clean the store front. My cousin George was led by my grandfather to master the whip cream showcase. During this time my father brought me under his wing and started teaching me how to do his work. Breads, Danish, cookies and the famous Beehive. So we could leave to open up another bakery. The time finally came when my father had a heart to heart with his brother, this was a point that they stopped talking to one another. So, my father had a friend realtor draw up paperwork to be bought out.
My father James Premock left Cramer’s Bakery around 1990 to establish Rosemont Bakery at 9131 Kiefer Blvd.; we were between Watt Avenue and Bradshaw Road, in the Rosemont Plaza shopping center. It took about a year to find a location, equipment, permits, etc. When we finally opened Rosemont Bakery at the former site of New York Bagel Boys in 1991, I remember vividly people coming to the door, saying open, open, but, the county caused delays. We had to tear out a non-functioning walk in freezer then, we had to have permits for a mop sink and partition walls, then, the floors caused more delays. Every corner we turned we were hit with another delay. Once we opened our doors, we had consistent customers. Our business was doing great, the sales were increasing. During this time just family and my boyfriend worked there. The family consisted of my mom, my two sisters and at the time my boyfriend. Later on we needed a cake decorator, clerk and a clean-up person.
In The Heat Of The Night
During the summertime the bakery would get blazing hot inside, unless the door was open in the back. Well there was one night that my father left soon after my arrival. I was working on the baked goods, getting them ready for the store front. I was sweltering to death, so, knowing that my boyfriend would be arriving soon. I opened up the back door of the bakery. I resumed at the bakery bench, cutting pastries and placing them on the display case pans. I went to the front of the bakery to load the trays into the showcases. I would walk back and forth from the back to the front of the bakery. Well one of the times that I walked to the back, I realized I saw a man’s face peeping behind the wall around. I said, is there something I can help you with he wouldn’t say anything, I repeated myself one more time in a firmer voice. He walked out from behind the wall and said ya give me your money. I responded with what money he said the money you have here. I said we are not open; the person that has the money is not here yet. (Even though the safe was in plain sight right behind me under the bench). He said, well give me your purse. I said, if you want my purse get it yourself, he asked me where is it? I said in the front of the store. So, he said show me, so he grabbed me to walk to the front of the store, he grabbed the purse and me and when we walked back to the middle of the bakery. I thought, do I grab the gun that is farther away or grab the butcher knife off of the work bench. So, in seconds I had to make a decision, I decided I will run to the bench and grab the butcher knife (that I was using to cut the apple slices). As I grabbed the knife, I swung my arm back then, I twisted my wrist around with a sweep towards his neck. Then he grabbed my arm in the nick of time. He grabbed me; we fought back and forth with the knife. He threw me up against the bench, as my back hit the bench and bending that direction we continued to fight with the knife.
Deut. 20:4 For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.