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Dan Evins

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Danny Wood "Dan" Evins (October 11, 1935 – January 14, 2012) was an American entrepreneur and co-founder of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, a Southern-themed restaurant chain. As of January 2012, Cracker Barrel had more than 67,000 employees working in more than 600 restaurants in 42 U.S. states.[1][2][3]

Evins was born in Smithville, Tennessee, on October 11, 1935.[1] He enlisted in the US Army, served in Korea in the Corps of Engineers and attended Auburn University.[1] Evins also worked as an aide for his uncle, U.S. Rep. Joseph L. Evins, before taking a position with his family's oil company.[1]

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.[2] He borrowed $40,000 to construct the first Cracker Barrel, which turned a profit just one month after opening.[3]

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.[2]

Dan Evins died on January 14, 2012, at his daughter's home in Lebanon, Tennessee, at the age of 76.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Langer, Emily (2012-01-16). "Dan Evins, founder of Cracker Barrel highway empire, dies". Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  2. ^ a b c "Cracker Barrel's Founder Dan Evins Dies At 76". WTVF. 2012-01-15. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  3. ^ a b Martin, Douglas (2012-01-16). "Danny Evins, Restaurant Founder and Focus of Controversy, Dies at 76". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-28.