An 80-year-old Indiana couple is now just one Cracker Barrel location away from visiting all 645 restaurants in the United States.
Ray and Wilma Yoder, of Goshen, crossed No. 644 off the list on July 7, when they attended the grand opening of a store in Lavonia, Georgia, according to The Lebanon Democrat in Cracker Barrel’s hometown of Lebanon, Tennessee.
The Yoders' quest started 40 years ago when Ray delivered recreational vehicles around the country. He said the restaurant has became more than just a place to grab a bite on the road.
“It took the boredom out of being on the road,” Ray told The Lebanon Democrat. “It has a down-home spirit, and everybody is friendly. It’s like being at home.”
The Yoders have become quasi-celebrities at Cracker Barrel locations, saying they often receive gift baskets and requests for photos from staff when they visit a new store. Ray, an avid checkers player, told The Lebanon Democrat that he notices when checkers boards are turned the wrong way or when particular items in a store are inconsistent with other locations. They also abide by one rule when they visit.
“We always buy something – a cup of coffee, candy or something. We don’t just pull into the parking lot and leave,” Ray said.
They’ll complete their country cooking tour de force at the only Cracker Barrel they haven’t yet visited in Tualatin, Oregon, later this year.
Read more about the Yoders at The Lebanon Democrat's website here.