644 down, 1 to go for Ray and Wilma Yoder.
Name a Cracker Barrel restaurant, and Ray and Wilma Yoder can almost guarantee they’ve been there. The 80-year-old couple from Goshen, Indiana have visited 644 out of the 645 Cracker Barrel locations in America.
“It has a down-home spirit, and everybody is friendly,” Ray recently told the Lebanon Democrat. It’s like being at home.”
Ray first caught the Cracker Barrel bug 40 years ago when he worked for Coachman delivering recreational vehicles across the country. The popular chain soon became more than a place to eat—it was a destination. “It took the boredom out of driving,” he explains. His wife Wilma eventually joined him, and for 30 years they’ve been traveling the country together, visiting every Cracker Barrel from sea to shining sea. As a result, the Yoders have become quasi-celebrities.
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”It’s a good feeling. It’s something we’ve followed this long, but it’s gained attention in the last 10 years or so,” Ray told the Democrat, adding that they often receive gift baskets and requests for pictures when they visit. They admit to visiting as many as eight in one day, but they always buy something—whether it’s a cup of coffee or candy—and always leave a tip. Earlier this month, the couple attended the opening of a new Cracker Barrel location in Lavonia, Georgia (number 644) which leaves only one more to visit: in Tualatin, Oregon.
At the end of the day, it’s the consistency that keeps them, and so many others, coming back. “It’s the same good service and great people wherever you go,” Ray noted.
We couldn’t agree more!