October 11, 1935|
Smithville, Tennessee, U.S.
January 14, 2012 (aged 76)|
Lebanon, Tennessee, U.S.
|Alma mater||Auburn University|
James Edgar Evins (paternal grandfather)|
Joe L. Evins (paternal uncle)
Evins was born in Smithville, Tennessee, on October 11, 1935. As a child he graduated from Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tennessee. He enlisted in the US Army, served in Korea in the Corps of Engineers and attended Auburn University.
Evins co-founded Cracker Barrel in 1969 while he was working for Shell Oil. He opened the first restaurant in Lebanon, Tennessee, on Tennessee State Route 109. He borrowed $40,000 to construct the first Cracker Barrel, which turned a profit just one month after opening.
Evins was the chief executive officer (CEO) of Cracker Barrel from its founding in 1969 to 2001, and as chairman of the board from 2001 until his retirement in 2004. During this time he was also served as chairman of the board of directors for Castle Heights Military Academy while his son was enrolled in the school.
In 1991, he believed gay and lesbian employees should be fired if customers or other staff members found them disruptive.
In 1998, Evans led the drive by Cracker Barrel to purchase and restore the Mitchell House in Lebanon, Tennessee. The home had been a dormitory for elementary age students while Castle Heights Military Academy had been operating. The company spent two million dollars to restore the home and make it the company's corporate office.
- Langer, Emily (2012-01-16). "Dan Evins, founder of Cracker Barrel highway empire, dies". Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- Felkins, Jared (November 8, 2013). "Cracker Barrel sells Mitchell House to fraternity". Lebanon Democrat. Lebanon, Tennessee. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
- "Cracker Barrel's Founder Dan Evins Dies At 76". WTVF. 2012-01-15. Archived from the original on 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- Martin, Douglas (2012-01-16). "Danny Evins, Restaurant Founder and Focus of Controversy, Dies at 76". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- "Southern restaurant chain's policy allowed firing of homosexuals". The Palm Beach Post. February 28, 1991. p. 6 – via Newspapers.com. (Registration required (help)).
- "Mitchell House, Cracker Barrell". Manous Design.
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