Legendary Pinecraft restauranteur Amanda Yoder has died, her family announced Tuesday.
Yoder was the founder of Yoder's Restaurant and Amish Village on Bahia Vista Street — the heart of Sarasota's Amish and Mennonite community. Yoder died of an illness early Tuesday morning. She was 84.
"As her family, we are blessed not only to have had her as our mother and grandmother, but to have known her, loved her, and to have been loved by her," the family announced in a statement released on the restaurant's Facebook page. "She was a humble woman of great faith and the legacy she left will continue in our hearts forever. She will be deeply missed by the community, and especially by those who loved her most."
The restaurant started in downtown Sarasota in 1976 with her husband Levi Yoder and later moved to Bahia Vista in 1984. She achieved national recognition on Man Vs. Food on the Travel Channel when host Adam Richman raved over the fried chicken and homemade pies.
Yoder was at home surrounded by family, when she died peacefully Monday morning after suffering a brief illness. The family considers Yoder " a well loved matriarch of the community."
"Mrs. Yoder’s pies have become a long time favorite of Sarasota and surrounding areas for over 35 years. At Thanksgiving and on holidays she has sold thousands of her famous pies, which have graced most Sarasota homes at one time or another. She has been featured by many local and national print medias as well as featured on various television programs," the family stated in the release.
Yoder was born in Nappanee, Indiana, where her love for baking at the began when she was 9 years old, according to the family.
Yoder is preceded in death by her husband Levi Yoder, and survived by her four children, Harold Yoder, Lorene Kenyon, Mary Lou Emrich, and Anna Marie Yoder, eight grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
Yoder’s Restaurant and Amish Village is owned today by daughters Mary Lou Emrich and Anna Marie Yoder with son-in-law Todd Emrich acting as chief executive officer since 1995 with many family members involved in its ongoing daily operations, according to the family.
The restaurant will be closed Monday, July 9 for Yoder's funeral, the family announced.
Visitation services for Yoder will be at Palms Memorial open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, July 7 and 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. Funeral service by Palms Memorial will be held at Bahia Vista Mennonite Church on Monday July 9 at 10 a.m. with visitation one hour prior to service.