BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Lemoine Creperie. The name of the newest addition to the Kern County Fair might not mean much to your average fairgoer.
But to the mother and daughter who run the booth, it means everything.
“To say, in your blood? It was in your blood? Yeah,” founder Elise Lemoine said.
Lemoine and her ten siblings grew up as tightropists in Germany. While she moved to Paso Robles in the ’60s, her brother started making crepes at fairs back home.
“When he came to visit us, he always said, ‘Elise, why don’t you start down here?'” Lemoine said. “‘Introduce this to the people, it’s nice, it’s healthy.’”
And so she did, trekking to Northern California for wine festivals and small street fairs. The early days were spent trying to teach people what a crepe was.
“At first it was kind of a strawberry burrito, at least in our area,” Lemoine’s daughter Diana Straham said. “It took a little time, but people tried it, and they like it.”
While most 90s teens were hanging out at the food court or the roller rink, Straham joined her mother in the crepe trailer. The two laughed when I asked Straham what it was like to work with her mother in the trailer.
“It was fun!” Straham said. “I mean, I was used to it, because that’s the family we grew up in.”
Thirty years later, Straham has taken over main operation of the creperie from her now 83-year-old mother, though Elise still spends hours in the trailer most days. If there’s one thing Diana could tell her mother, it’s this.
“Maybe how much I admire her,” Straham said. “You know, you came here from another country, and you started a business, as a woman…”
“And it was much harder than now,” Elise added.
The Fair is the pair’s last stop on their trailer tour this year. They’re hoping it’s a good one.