Allyse Yoder, who co-owns and operates three businesses with her husband Russ, says she always has something delicious to eat for her hungry customers at the Yoder Crossroads complex.
Yoder puts in some long hours, but is continually satisfied that her businesses are going strong.
“The businesses in our building that are owned and operated by us are Yoder Popcorn, Corn Crib Cafe and Five Lakes Coffee,” Yoder says. “I mainly manage Yoder Popcorn, but oversee the management and ensure the smooth day-to-day operation of the coffee shop and restaurant.”
Yoder notes that all of their businesses are places fun to work.
“Yoder Popcorn was started up by my husband’s great-great-uncle Rufus Yoder back in 1936,” she says. “He is the fourth generation of the Yoder family to carry on the family business.”
The Corn Crib Cafe also keeps her busy.
“Our goal is to provide fresh and locally sourced ingredients for our entrees,” Yoder says. “We serve breakfast and lunch. On our Corn Crib Cafe lunch menu, we offer homemade daily specials, unique burgers, sandwiches, salads, quesadillas, grinders and pizzas. Some of my favorites, and the most popular menu items, are the Southwest Quesadilla, Southwest Chicken Salad, Chicken Club Sandwich and the Tuesday Meatloaf special.”
Yoder says she also enjoys Five Lakes Coffee.
“We franchised this coffee shop,” Yoder says. “Five Lakes Coffee is a small-batch roastery based out of Sturgis, Michigan. We offer hot, iced or frozen coffee beverages. We also offer cold-brew coffee, teas, smoothies, some baked goods, and we have become quickly known for our bagel breakfast sandwiches. We have a variety of coffee beans to select from.”
Yoder says each of the businesses has a unique history.
“Rufus Yoder started this business by growing popcorn in his garden and sharing the excess crops with neighbors, and quickly a business was born,” Yoder says. “The business was sold out of the family briefly for three years from 1996 to 1999, and then purchased by Rufus’s great-niece Sharon, her husband Richard, and their son Russ Yoder, in 1999. In 2018, Russ and I became full owners. The family also farms with 2,000 acres. Out of all the acres, 400 to 600 acres of that property is for popcorn every year. We have also recently moved and expanded our retail space here at Yoder Crossroads.”
Yoder says the Corn Crib Cafe began in 2020.
“Our goal was to provide locally sourced foods with family recipes,” Yoder says. “We wanted to have unique and flavorful menu items, with quick and friendly service. We also do offer box lunches and some catering.”
Yoder says Five Lakes Coffee was started by brothers Paul and Jared Smith.
“It was first established in 2002, and was called Great Lakes Chocolate in Sturgis, Michigan,” Yoder explains. “In 2003 they made it into their first official coffee house.”
In 2018, Yoder says the Smiths opened a new roasting facility, and officially changed their name to Five Lakes Coffee. They also developed their popular Angry Brew, which is highly caffeinated.
“In 2020 Russ and I bought our first franchise and opened a shop in Shipshewana, Indiana,” Yoder says.
Yoder notes that she and Russ have tried to feature added incentives at each of their locations.
“At Yoder Popcorn we can accommodate tour buses, offer free samples of popcorn to every customer, and also offer wholesale,” Yoder says. “We can ship anywhere. We have gift baskets, gift boxes and tins that are all available in-store or to ship.”
At Five Lakes Coffee, Yoder says they offer boxes of coffee for events.
“We can grind beans on-site,” Yoder says. “We offer punch cards to earn free beverages. We also have buy-one-get-one events throughout the year. Giveaways can be found on social media handles.”
At Corn Crib Cafe, the Yoders offer boxed lunches and can cater small events.
“We have to-go orders that can be placed over the phone, online through our website, or the Clover app,” Yoder says. “We also offer seasonal pies and desserts, including strawberry shortcake, or strawberry and blueberry pies.”
Yoder adds that customers love Yoder Popcorn’s yellow Minneapolis-Moline pulling tractor, which is called Xtra Butter.
“It’s driven by Russ,” she says. “Xtra Butter typically sits in the showroom, along with an antique Farmall H tractor. We also have a small children’s boutique called Sprouts & Honey, located in the back corner of Yoder Popcorn.”
Visit the shops at 0920 North State Road 5 in Shipshewana.