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The first Cracker Barrel opened in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1969. Since then, it’s expanded to 640 locations in 43 states. Each restaurant is chock full of folksy charm, smiling waitresses, and more butter than any person should consume in their lifetime. Most importantly, they’re all nearly identical. If you’ve seen one, as the saying goes, you’ve seen them all.
Yet one couple has decided they really do need to see them all. Ray and Wilma Yoder of Goshen, Indiana, are on the cusp of visiting every single Cracker Barrel in the United States. Luckily for them, Alaska and Hawaii don’t have the chain, so they can keep the millage at least somewhat reasonable.
“I’ve not had a bad experience anytime,” Ray Yoder told ABC News. “I’ve always walked away feeling refreshed.”
The Yoders once stopped by 10 Cracker Barrels in one day on their way from Florida to Canada. Ray said they don’t always get a meal but they do buy something each stop. “We go in a spend a little of money. We’re not rich, but we’ll buy a coffee to go or a little bit of candy.”
Janella Escobar, Cracker Barrell’s director of corporate communications, said the chain is “proud to be a part of the Yoders’ quest” and at some point even started inviting them to store opening ceremonies. “Many years ago, we began inviting them to our ribbon-cutting ceremonies as we open new locations to help them on their journey. We look forward to seeing them and helping them complete their mission of visiting every Cracker Barrel in the nation!”
And it’s a task they’re about to complete. There’s one store, in Portland, Oregon, the Yoders have yet to visit. They plan to stop in later this year and then their 40-year-plus journey will finally be at an end… at least until Cracker Barrel opens another restaurant. The Yoders say when that happens, they’ll be there.
H/T ABC News
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.