Crofutt's a sweet landmark in Bayside (video)
Aug. 24, 2013 at 3:24 a.m.
Updated Aug. 26, 2013 at 3:26 a.m.
BAYSIDE - Cherrie Andrade sat at a seat she's probably sat in hundreds of times.
But that's what life is like when you grow up in Bayside and go to Crofutt's Sandwich Shop and Bakery all the time.
The shop is right off Farm-to-Market Road 136, and the name reaches far out of Bayside - it reaches states away.
"Whenever I get a chance, I stop by," said Andrade, now 21 and living in Woodsboro. "It's just like the only place for you to go around here."
Andrade's favorite item is the bundle of large chocolate chip cookies and the banana bread. As a child, she went there for grilled cheese sandwiches and the french fries.
Customers such as Andrade is why co-owner Lorraine Short loves the job.
Short was, at one point, one of three owners. The shop was started by Sally and Larry Crofutt in July 1978. Short was their first employee, and in 1982, she became part owner.
Short moved the home-like restaurant from its original location south of town to right at the bend in Bayside and officially became an owner in 1985 after Sally sold her share. Larry Crofutt still has part ownership, but a stroke has left Short doing most of the work.
Short originally is from Wisconsin, but plenty of traveling landed her in Bayside.
"I got caught in the cosmic crack that is Bayside," she said, laughing.
What makes Crofutt's so popular, she said, is the menu but more importantly the 15 staffers.
The restaurant is built into the kitchen, so customers can watch and smell as their food is made. This openness allows for her employees and customers to interact, which makes for a great experience, she said.
What also helps is that some of her employees are second generation employees, meaning their mothers or fathers once worked at the shop.
Alice Aguirre, 50, has been working at the sandwich shop for 25 years. Her daughter, Ana Garcia, 20, started five years ago.
"We are so proud to be part of everything," Aguirre said.
When it comes to the food, though, anything is game. She has people who are brave and try anything from their many sandwiches to their burgers and their sweets.
Everything is made from scratch, but don't ask Short her favorite - she can't really decide.
"People ask us what their favorite is all the time," she said. "And honestly, every single thing up there on that menu has its own fan club."