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This 80-Year-Old Couple Has Visited Nearly Every Cracker Barrel in America

This 80-Year-Old Couple Has Visited Nearly Every Cracker Barrel in America


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Ray and Wilma Yoder have explored nearly all of the chain’s 645 locations

iStockPhoto

The duo have been visiting Cracker Barrels since 1977.

It’s always good to set some goals in life. And for 80-year-old couple Ray and Wilma Yoder, of Goshen, Indiana, that goal has been to visit every single location of chain restaurant Cracker Barrel in existence. They’ve been at it for the past 40 years, according to the Lebanon Democrat, and they only have one more location to go before they’ve hit them all.

The journey started in 1977, when Ray was working as a truck driver and would find comfort in Cracker Barrel’s welcoming atmosphere.

“It took the boredom out of being on the road,” he told the newspaper. “It has a down-home spirit, and everybody is friendly. It’s like being at home.”

His wife eventually started joining him, and about 10 years ago they began to gain some recognition, receiving gift baskets and other treats as they’d visit each new location. Over the years, they’ve traveled more than five million miles, and their next stop will be on July 28, at the ribbon-cutting of the chain’s newest location in Lavonia, Georgia. After that, they’ll only have to cross an outpost in Tualatin, Oregon off their list to have visited every single Cracker Barrel in the system: 645 locations.

While the couple doesn’t always have a full meal at every Cracker Barrel they visit, they always make sure to spend a little money there. “We always buy something — a cup of coffee, candy or something,” Yoder explained. “We don’t just pull into the parking lot and leave.”

Feeling inspired by the Yoders’ tremendous achievement? Click here to see The Daily Meal’s itinerary for the Ultimate Barbecue Road Trip and head out on the highway.


This adorable couple has visited every Cracker Barrel -- except one

GOSHEN, Ind. (FOX 13) - An Indiana couple is just one Cracker Barrel shy of visiting every one of its stores across the United States.

Ray Yoder began the accidental journey as a driver for an RV company nearly 40 years ago. When the kids were grown, Yoder began to take his wife, Wilma, on his treks across the country, stopping at Cracker Barrels along the way.

They used a Cracker Barrel checklist to mark off each location they visited.

Decades later, they&aposre close to having visited all 645 locations, except for one.

"We were founded in 1969, he started in the &apos70s," said਋reeanna Straessle, manager of corporate communications for Cracker Barrel. "He keeps getting really close and we keep opening more stores."

The store the couple has yet to visit is outside Portland, Oregon, in a town called Tualatin. There are two more stores set to open near that location by next year, so Straessle says the 80-year-old couple plans to check them off all in one visit.

Straessle says she tells the Yoders ahead of time when they&aposre opening a new store so Ray could plan his trip around it. When the couple visits, Straessle says the staff is excited to meet them, and they give them the VIP treatment.

"They&aposre part of our family now, basically," Straessle said.

In the past year, the store has started inviting them to ribbon-cutting ceremonies so they can check a store off their list immediately.

"Ray has become like my surrogate grandfather," Straessle added. "They&aposre just really sweet people."


This adorable couple has visited every Cracker Barrel -- except one

GOSHEN, Ind. (FOX 13) - An Indiana couple is just one Cracker Barrel shy of visiting every one of its stores across the United States.

Ray Yoder began the accidental journey as a driver for an RV company nearly 40 years ago. When the kids were grown, Yoder began to take his wife, Wilma, on his treks across the country, stopping at Cracker Barrels along the way.

They used a Cracker Barrel checklist to mark off each location they visited.

Decades later, they&aposre close to having visited all 645 locations, except for one.

"We were founded in 1969, he started in the &apos70s," said਋reeanna Straessle, manager of corporate communications for Cracker Barrel. "He keeps getting really close and we keep opening more stores."

The store the couple has yet to visit is outside Portland, Oregon, in a town called Tualatin. There are two more stores set to open near that location by next year, so Straessle says the 80-year-old couple plans to check them off all in one visit.

Straessle says she tells the Yoders ahead of time when they&aposre opening a new store so Ray could plan his trip around it. When the couple visits, Straessle says the staff is excited to meet them, and they give them the VIP treatment.

"They&aposre part of our family now, basically," Straessle said.

In the past year, the store has started inviting them to ribbon-cutting ceremonies so they can check a store off their list immediately.

"Ray has become like my surrogate grandfather," Straessle added. "They&aposre just really sweet people."


This adorable couple has visited every Cracker Barrel -- except one

GOSHEN, Ind. (FOX 13) - An Indiana couple is just one Cracker Barrel shy of visiting every one of its stores across the United States.

Ray Yoder began the accidental journey as a driver for an RV company nearly 40 years ago. When the kids were grown, Yoder began to take his wife, Wilma, on his treks across the country, stopping at Cracker Barrels along the way.

They used a Cracker Barrel checklist to mark off each location they visited.

Decades later, they&aposre close to having visited all 645 locations, except for one.

"We were founded in 1969, he started in the &apos70s," said਋reeanna Straessle, manager of corporate communications for Cracker Barrel. "He keeps getting really close and we keep opening more stores."

The store the couple has yet to visit is outside Portland, Oregon, in a town called Tualatin. There are two more stores set to open near that location by next year, so Straessle says the 80-year-old couple plans to check them off all in one visit.

Straessle says she tells the Yoders ahead of time when they&aposre opening a new store so Ray could plan his trip around it. When the couple visits, Straessle says the staff is excited to meet them, and they give them the VIP treatment.

"They&aposre part of our family now, basically," Straessle said.

In the past year, the store has started inviting them to ribbon-cutting ceremonies so they can check a store off their list immediately.

"Ray has become like my surrogate grandfather," Straessle added. "They&aposre just really sweet people."


This adorable couple has visited every Cracker Barrel -- except one

GOSHEN, Ind. (FOX 13) - An Indiana couple is just one Cracker Barrel shy of visiting every one of its stores across the United States.

Ray Yoder began the accidental journey as a driver for an RV company nearly 40 years ago. When the kids were grown, Yoder began to take his wife, Wilma, on his treks across the country, stopping at Cracker Barrels along the way.

They used a Cracker Barrel checklist to mark off each location they visited.

Decades later, they&aposre close to having visited all 645 locations, except for one.

"We were founded in 1969, he started in the &apos70s," said਋reeanna Straessle, manager of corporate communications for Cracker Barrel. "He keeps getting really close and we keep opening more stores."

The store the couple has yet to visit is outside Portland, Oregon, in a town called Tualatin. There are two more stores set to open near that location by next year, so Straessle says the 80-year-old couple plans to check them off all in one visit.

Straessle says she tells the Yoders ahead of time when they&aposre opening a new store so Ray could plan his trip around it. When the couple visits, Straessle says the staff is excited to meet them, and they give them the VIP treatment.

"They&aposre part of our family now, basically," Straessle said.

In the past year, the store has started inviting them to ribbon-cutting ceremonies so they can check a store off their list immediately.

"Ray has become like my surrogate grandfather," Straessle added. "They&aposre just really sweet people."


This adorable couple has visited every Cracker Barrel -- except one

GOSHEN, Ind. (FOX 13) - An Indiana couple is just one Cracker Barrel shy of visiting every one of its stores across the United States.

Ray Yoder began the accidental journey as a driver for an RV company nearly 40 years ago. When the kids were grown, Yoder began to take his wife, Wilma, on his treks across the country, stopping at Cracker Barrels along the way.

They used a Cracker Barrel checklist to mark off each location they visited.

Decades later, they&aposre close to having visited all 645 locations, except for one.

"We were founded in 1969, he started in the &apos70s," said਋reeanna Straessle, manager of corporate communications for Cracker Barrel. "He keeps getting really close and we keep opening more stores."

The store the couple has yet to visit is outside Portland, Oregon, in a town called Tualatin. There are two more stores set to open near that location by next year, so Straessle says the 80-year-old couple plans to check them off all in one visit.

Straessle says she tells the Yoders ahead of time when they&aposre opening a new store so Ray could plan his trip around it. When the couple visits, Straessle says the staff is excited to meet them, and they give them the VIP treatment.

"They&aposre part of our family now, basically," Straessle said.

In the past year, the store has started inviting them to ribbon-cutting ceremonies so they can check a store off their list immediately.

"Ray has become like my surrogate grandfather," Straessle added. "They&aposre just really sweet people."


This adorable couple has visited every Cracker Barrel -- except one

GOSHEN, Ind. (FOX 13) - An Indiana couple is just one Cracker Barrel shy of visiting every one of its stores across the United States.

Ray Yoder began the accidental journey as a driver for an RV company nearly 40 years ago. When the kids were grown, Yoder began to take his wife, Wilma, on his treks across the country, stopping at Cracker Barrels along the way.

They used a Cracker Barrel checklist to mark off each location they visited.

Decades later, they&aposre close to having visited all 645 locations, except for one.

"We were founded in 1969, he started in the &apos70s," said਋reeanna Straessle, manager of corporate communications for Cracker Barrel. "He keeps getting really close and we keep opening more stores."

The store the couple has yet to visit is outside Portland, Oregon, in a town called Tualatin. There are two more stores set to open near that location by next year, so Straessle says the 80-year-old couple plans to check them off all in one visit.

Straessle says she tells the Yoders ahead of time when they&aposre opening a new store so Ray could plan his trip around it. When the couple visits, Straessle says the staff is excited to meet them, and they give them the VIP treatment.

"They&aposre part of our family now, basically," Straessle said.

In the past year, the store has started inviting them to ribbon-cutting ceremonies so they can check a store off their list immediately.

"Ray has become like my surrogate grandfather," Straessle added. "They&aposre just really sweet people."


This adorable couple has visited every Cracker Barrel -- except one

GOSHEN, Ind. (FOX 13) - An Indiana couple is just one Cracker Barrel shy of visiting every one of its stores across the United States.

Ray Yoder began the accidental journey as a driver for an RV company nearly 40 years ago. When the kids were grown, Yoder began to take his wife, Wilma, on his treks across the country, stopping at Cracker Barrels along the way.

They used a Cracker Barrel checklist to mark off each location they visited.

Decades later, they&aposre close to having visited all 645 locations, except for one.

"We were founded in 1969, he started in the &apos70s," said਋reeanna Straessle, manager of corporate communications for Cracker Barrel. "He keeps getting really close and we keep opening more stores."

The store the couple has yet to visit is outside Portland, Oregon, in a town called Tualatin. There are two more stores set to open near that location by next year, so Straessle says the 80-year-old couple plans to check them off all in one visit.

Straessle says she tells the Yoders ahead of time when they&aposre opening a new store so Ray could plan his trip around it. When the couple visits, Straessle says the staff is excited to meet them, and they give them the VIP treatment.

"They&aposre part of our family now, basically," Straessle said.

In the past year, the store has started inviting them to ribbon-cutting ceremonies so they can check a store off their list immediately.

"Ray has become like my surrogate grandfather," Straessle added. "They&aposre just really sweet people."


This adorable couple has visited every Cracker Barrel -- except one

GOSHEN, Ind. (FOX 13) - An Indiana couple is just one Cracker Barrel shy of visiting every one of its stores across the United States.

Ray Yoder began the accidental journey as a driver for an RV company nearly 40 years ago. When the kids were grown, Yoder began to take his wife, Wilma, on his treks across the country, stopping at Cracker Barrels along the way.

They used a Cracker Barrel checklist to mark off each location they visited.

Decades later, they&aposre close to having visited all 645 locations, except for one.

"We were founded in 1969, he started in the &apos70s," said਋reeanna Straessle, manager of corporate communications for Cracker Barrel. "He keeps getting really close and we keep opening more stores."

The store the couple has yet to visit is outside Portland, Oregon, in a town called Tualatin. There are two more stores set to open near that location by next year, so Straessle says the 80-year-old couple plans to check them off all in one visit.

Straessle says she tells the Yoders ahead of time when they&aposre opening a new store so Ray could plan his trip around it. When the couple visits, Straessle says the staff is excited to meet them, and they give them the VIP treatment.

"They&aposre part of our family now, basically," Straessle said.

In the past year, the store has started inviting them to ribbon-cutting ceremonies so they can check a store off their list immediately.

"Ray has become like my surrogate grandfather," Straessle added. "They&aposre just really sweet people."


This adorable couple has visited every Cracker Barrel -- except one

GOSHEN, Ind. (FOX 13) - An Indiana couple is just one Cracker Barrel shy of visiting every one of its stores across the United States.

Ray Yoder began the accidental journey as a driver for an RV company nearly 40 years ago. When the kids were grown, Yoder began to take his wife, Wilma, on his treks across the country, stopping at Cracker Barrels along the way.

They used a Cracker Barrel checklist to mark off each location they visited.

Decades later, they&aposre close to having visited all 645 locations, except for one.

"We were founded in 1969, he started in the &apos70s," said਋reeanna Straessle, manager of corporate communications for Cracker Barrel. "He keeps getting really close and we keep opening more stores."

The store the couple has yet to visit is outside Portland, Oregon, in a town called Tualatin. There are two more stores set to open near that location by next year, so Straessle says the 80-year-old couple plans to check them off all in one visit.

Straessle says she tells the Yoders ahead of time when they&aposre opening a new store so Ray could plan his trip around it. When the couple visits, Straessle says the staff is excited to meet them, and they give them the VIP treatment.

"They&aposre part of our family now, basically," Straessle said.

In the past year, the store has started inviting them to ribbon-cutting ceremonies so they can check a store off their list immediately.

"Ray has become like my surrogate grandfather," Straessle added. "They&aposre just really sweet people."


This adorable couple has visited every Cracker Barrel -- except one

GOSHEN, Ind. (FOX 13) - An Indiana couple is just one Cracker Barrel shy of visiting every one of its stores across the United States.

Ray Yoder began the accidental journey as a driver for an RV company nearly 40 years ago. When the kids were grown, Yoder began to take his wife, Wilma, on his treks across the country, stopping at Cracker Barrels along the way.

They used a Cracker Barrel checklist to mark off each location they visited.

Decades later, they&aposre close to having visited all 645 locations, except for one.

"We were founded in 1969, he started in the &apos70s," said਋reeanna Straessle, manager of corporate communications for Cracker Barrel. "He keeps getting really close and we keep opening more stores."

The store the couple has yet to visit is outside Portland, Oregon, in a town called Tualatin. There are two more stores set to open near that location by next year, so Straessle says the 80-year-old couple plans to check them off all in one visit.

Straessle says she tells the Yoders ahead of time when they&aposre opening a new store so Ray could plan his trip around it. When the couple visits, Straessle says the staff is excited to meet them, and they give them the VIP treatment.

"They&aposre part of our family now, basically," Straessle said.

In the past year, the store has started inviting them to ribbon-cutting ceremonies so they can check a store off their list immediately.

"Ray has become like my surrogate grandfather," Straessle added. "They&aposre just really sweet people."



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