Many Bremen residents will not be aware that the downtown was home to many grocery stores over the years. This includes the principle grocery store in Bremen for many years: Woodie’s Supermarket.

Woodie Schramm’s grandfather Andrew came to America from Germany as a small boy with his parents in 1862. Johann Georg and Anna Schramm settled in Ohio, but when Andrew grew up, he moved his family to Jay county, Indiana. By 1918, Woodie’s father Charles had moved the family from Jay county to Kosciusko county, where they took up livestock trading. Woodie grew to manhood there and married schoolteacher DeVota Hoffer in 1940.

Bremen Enquirer – 14 Mar 1929

Home Cash Grocery had started out as L Frank Wine’s Ideal Grocery in what is today the Mean Bean building in 1908. It moved to the Wright block at the northwest corner of Plymouth and Jackson, then to the Kinzie building, where today B Healthy is located.

Bremen Enquirer – 7 Oct 1915

The store passed to his son Harvey on Frank’s death in 1920, and Harvey sold it in Ed Ponader in 1923. It was then bought by Wilbur Keyser in 1927, E C Foltz in 1930, and Lester Koontz in 1943. Then in 1944, Woodie came to Bremen and bought the Home Cash Grocery from Lester Koontz and renamed it. DeVota became the bookkeeper.

Bremen Enquirer – 30 Mar 1944

In 1951, Woodie bought the Billy Walter meat market next door to Woodie’s Food Mart. In 1952, he sold the business to Clarence Surges. But he wasn’t planning to get out of the grocery business. By 1955, he had built a new store on N St Joseph St (now N Bowen Avenue), in the parking lot of Woodie’s Supermarket today.

Before long, they expanded the building.

And in 1966, they expanded again, this time putting a barn-style facade on it.

In 1980, the store got the new UPC scanning system used everywhere today. When Woodie retired, he left the store in the care of his son, Charles. Woodie died in 1989, having founded not only the Bremen store but another in Warsaw as well as co-founding Universal Bearings and being a partner in Sprig-O-Mint golf course and Bremen Village Apartments.

In 1990, Charles had a new store built in the parking lot of the existing store and then took down the old store. In 1998, he bought Leeper’s Marathon service station and took it down to enlarge the parking lot. Charles Schramm continues to run Woodie’s and update it to modernize things, providing Bremen with home-town service since 1944.