A visit to Kremer’s Market takes you back to a time when your local grocer was all you had—one, special place to find the best, farm-fresh meats and produce to last you through the week. To really travel back in time to when this unique market got its start, you’d have to go back over 100 years.
In 1914, married couple and farmers Frank Kremer and Julia Knochelman began selling their home-grown vegetables, flowers, and other goods to people door-to-door while delivering it to vendors throughout the region. Their original barns are actually less than 0.3 miles from where the current market (which is also a barn) sits. The market today, known as the “Red Barn,” opened its doors in 1977 and continues to be family owned and operated.
Tom Heist, Frank Kremer’s great-grandson, alongside his sisters, Amy Hoerlein and Emily Heist, keep the store flourishing with locally-grown products.
One of the tastiest enticements that brings customers through Kremer’s barn doors is its incredible deli. There, you’ll find meats and cheeses beyond your wildest dreams. (If you don’t dream about cheese, you will after your visit.) Nearly all of the distinct flavors you find in this market are created in-house using recipes that have been in the Kremer family for generations.
Some of the menu’s trademarks include chicken salad, specialty soups, and famous sandwiches such as their club, Reuben, and the “Kremer’s BLT.” The market also offers fresh baked breads from Servatii Pastry Shop, and yummy desserts like cookies, cakes, and other delectable treats delivered from The BonBonerie throughout the week. Kremer’s own acclaimed croissants and salads are made daily in the market.
The market doesn’t just offer bold lunches and desserts, though. The shop also supplies seasonal flora such as flowers in the spring, mums and pumpkins in the fall, and classic, natural Christmas trees and wreaths in the winter. Nothing compares to the crisp, pine scent of a real Christmas tree—not even your jar of Balsam and Cedar from Yankee Candle.
Tom emphasizes that the main priority of Kremer’s Market is to keep its traditional, welcoming atmosphere alive so all of their customers have a friendly experience in their shop. Personable customer service is what sets them apart from other grocery chains.
Tom told me, “If it wasn’t for our employees, we wouldn’t be Kremer’s.” And when I asked him how many of Kremer’s customers are regulars, he replied, “All of them.” During my interview with him, there was hardly anyone that walked by whom he didn’t greet (and already know) personally.
A team member of the market named Chris was able to predict who a customer was and what they wanted to order before she even saw who it was. She told me, “I can tell customers from their voice; you don’t even have to turn around.” And—personal disclaimer—Erin (another deli employee) not only recognized me from shopping there, but also knew that I loved getting their buffalo chicken sandwich on a pretzel bun.
If that’s not incredible customer service, I don’t know what is. Check it out for yourself and you’ll become their newest regular.
- - -
Kremer’s Market is located at 755 Buttermilk (41017).