PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A couple from Indiana has made a grand adventure out of a favorite restaurant. The latest pit stop for Ray and Wilma Yoder landed them in Panama City.
"We do have some local celebrities among us, we're pleased to welcome two very special guests, Ray and Wilma Yoder," announced Craig Norris, General Manager of the Panama City Cracker Barrel.
"We have been to 651 Cracker Barrels in the US," said Ray Yoder, alongside his wife Wilma.
The Yoders have made a mission to visit every Cracker Barrel in the United States. Their latest stop on their 40-year journey was at the new Cracker Barrel in Bay City Point in Panama City.
"Back in '78 and '80 it really first started. '78 our first one, in Nashville," said Ray.
But the idea to go to all of them didn't catch on until later.
Ray added, "After we had about 200 of them or so, I told my wife, 'There's a guy who does that for some other quick food, I think we could do that for Cracker Barrel, let's try.'"
After more than 600 restaurants, the 2 have found a few favorite items.
"We like the meatloaf, dinner or sandwich, but the dinner especially and the grilled chicken salad and grilled chicken plate," said Ray.
Through the miles, meals, and years, the Yoders are now a part of Cracker Barrel royalty.
Ray added, "And that's why we love this so well, they've really made our golden years the happiest one that you could have and it's been a great adventure and it's been a lot of fun. Our home away from home."
The store officially opens to the general public Monday, April 16th at the crack of dawn at 6 a.m.