Special agent trades in badge for popsicles
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Corey Crane has lived a lot of life. “This picture was at the U.S. embassy in London. George Herbert Walker Bush came over to meet us," Crane said as he pointed to a photo of he and the former president in 2002.
Crane turned the page of the photo album to reveal two group photos with George W. Bush.
The first photo was taken in London right before 911 at the ambassador’s home, Crane said. The second photo was taken in 2003 in Bangkok, Thailand.
“Whenever the president or the secretary of state travel overseas, they pull Marine Embassy Guards to augment some of the security in that country just to add some extra layers of security. They brought about 25 of us in from all over the world and we supported this trip for about ten days.”
Crane said on one shift, he was assigned to the president’s floor.
“Funny enough, I got to screen his breakfast coming in to make sure there was nothing attached to the cart that wasn’t supposed to be. As a 23-year-old marine it was a pretty big honor to say, ‘I just searched the president’s breakfast.’”
Crane turned to the next page in the photo album, which featured a photo of him with Rudy Giuliani, who was in London receiving an honorary knighthood from the queen.
“And this is probably one of my favorite pictures," Crane said as he pointed to a photo taken at the Marine Corps Ball. "There’s just not many times where you get a U.S. marine and a Russian general in uniform together for a picture.”
Crane grew up in Virginia and joined the Marine Corps in 1999, where he learned about the opportunity to be a member of the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group.
“We kind of protected the inner shell of the embassy all of the classified information, the personnel and the assets," Crane said.
Eventually, Crane left the United States Marine Corps and took a job with the state department, where he met and married Meredith, a Texas Tech graduate.
Their jobs required overseas travel and Crane spent a lot of time in Baghdad.
“When Corey went to Iraq for the year. His first R&R home, I got pregnant with Carter and then he went back to Baghdad to finish out that year. So that part was scary. New mommy and he was in Iraq in kind of a not great time," Meredith said.
“It was during the drawdown period with the military, so there was a lot of unrest, uncertainty on the region," Crane said.
Crane’s job eventually relocated the family to New Zealand, where the threats were much different.
“In Baghdad, we were facing terrorism, we were facing rockets and mortars being shot at us from outside of the protective green zone. In New Zealand, the threat was natural disasters. Also, we had a lot of dignitaries come over, and I had to negotiate with the New Zealand government on the protective motorcade," Crane said.
As the Crane family grew, they made a difficult decision to leave the government.
“It was quite a surprise when Corey came home with this big idea to open Frios," Meredith said.
“Her parents live in Lubbock and Lubbock didn’t have popsicles," Crane said.
The Cranes' faith outweighed their worry, and so they packed their bags and headed to Lubbock.
“The thing about Corey, he can talk to anybody. I know whatever he sets his mind to, he will do well," Meredith said.
Crane said he started by sitting outside on the sidewalk with a cart selling popsicles.
“That was a little worrisome there at the beginning,” Meredith said.
“Our store wasn’t built out, but we had pops,” Crane said.
“It was really fun when we first moved here and I would be out and about with the kids and would meet somebody and they would say, ‘Oh, your Corey’s wife. We met Corey, he was out selling pops.’ His store was just being built out, but he was out there every night with his cart and did great and everybody just loved the concept and you from the beginning,” Meredith said.
With hard work and the support of family and the Lubbock community, Crane is now the franchise director of Frios Gourmet Pops, and has two Lubbock locations.
They have roughly 40 popsicle flavors to choose from, which makes picking a favorite difficult, but the Cranes' kids have narrowed down their list.
“So, mine is the cookie and cream and root beer float," said Carter.
“And mine is zesty orange and vanilla bean,”
While Corey and Meredith do on occasion reminiscence about some of their early adventures, the reward that came out of settling down in Lubbock and trying their hand at entrepreneurship has proved to be worth the risk.
“The traveling became not as fun and Corey being away was harder. This is the best of both. He gets to do something he loves, but gets to be home every night," Meredith said.
While Crane loves serving up pops, he has not abandoned that desire to investigate.
Crane has two companies on the side, a real estate investigation company and a background check company.
To learn more about Frios Gourmet Pops, click here.
Frios is located at 10305 Quaker Avenue and 4404A 19th Street.
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