Ray and Wilma Yoder, an elderly couple from Goshen, Indiana, has become something of a social media sensation of late for their unique life quest: to visit every Cracker Barrel location in the U.S. — all 645 of them. The Yoders reached a milestone of late, dining at their 644th Cracker Barrel at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the chain’s Lavonia, Georgia, outpost, leaving just one left on the list: a newly opened location in Tualatin, Oregon, a suburb of Portland located about 12 miles southwest of the city.
Now, the Yoders’ dream is about to come true. Cracker Barrel announced last week it would finance the couple’s trip to Portland, completing a quest that began for Ray Yoder more than 40 years ago. Per the company, the Yoders will travel to the final location on an all-expense-paid trip.
Tune into Fox News @ 1:45pm CST to see the latest #AdventuresOfWilmaAndRay. ? These folks have visited 644 of our 645…
Posted by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store on Friday, August 4, 2017
In a release, the company stated:
“Through their travels across the country, Ray and Wilma Yoder have inspired and delighted thousands of the people who work in our stores. To the people who have welcomed and served them over the years, Ray and Wilma are more than valued guests. They are our family within our home.
To share back with you just a small part of the joy you have brought with you into 644 Cracker Barrel stores, Cracker Barrel is sending both of you to Portland, where we will celebrate your achievement with you. Welcome back, Ray and Wilma.”
As the Lebanon Democrat, newspaper of Cracker Barrel birthplace Lebanon, Tennessee, reported, Ray Yoder’s love of the homestyle restaurant/general store began some four decades ago during his career delivering Coachman RVs to clients around the country.
“It took the boredom out of being on the road. It has a down-home spirit, and everybody is friendly. It’s like being at home,” he told the Democrat.
Soon after, his wife Wilma joined him on his cross-country excursions, and the couple began making it a habit of visiting Cracker Barrels around the country — a venture they’ve kept up for 30 years.
While the Yoders’ quest is a personal one, in the last decade, people around the country have started to take note, with the couple finding a warm welcome — and sometimes gift baskets — at every stop along their way.
Here’s to you, Ray and Wilma!