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room in the back was used for them to play or nap in as needed. The Wieseler clan is extensive, and Cindy is sure she’s related to practically everyone in Cedar County to some extent. In the early years in Vermillion, the founding JoDean’s restaurant was the smallest. Cindy remembers, “When I first started, the food was ordered completely off a menu, and served out of the kitchen.” The plentiful food buffet didn’t start until 1983. Over the years the restaurant has grown to accommodate large parties and events. During the holidays, the required staff can be as large as thirty to forty people working a single shift. Cindy states that, “It takes a lot of us when it’s busy.” She recalls that events such as a local military deployment can be times when families gather together and JoDean’s is particularly busy. “There is always something going on, sometimes things are preplanned and sometimes things are spontaneous.” The staff are always ready and waiting with a smile. Cindy shares that there was a time when all six of her sisters were temporarily working at JoDean’s at one time or another to help out. Cindy’s nieces have also been employed at JoDean’s previously. When asked what’s kept Cindy at JoDean’s for so long she is quick to respond, “It’s the people, the customers. I’ve worked with some wonderful, incredible staff members.” She’s truly enjoyed getting to know many of the regular customers that have been eating at JoDean’s for years. These relationships are what makes working at the restaurant so rewarding. Besides being the manager, Cindy literally has “got her hands” in all aspects of the job. She regularly helps prepare the food, assists at the register, sets schedules, solves dilemmas and does the payroll. She literally jumps in and helps wherever it’s needed. She’s come in at the drop of a hat when the steakhouse has been in need of extra hands, and knows it takes only about ten minutes to get from her front door to work. “If the boss calls and says he needs my help, I’m ready.” She also gives kudos to their staff members that “Cindy usually opens in the early morning hours and works six days a week. When asked after all these years, if she’s gotten sick of the food, she’s quick to answer, “I love the food here. I eat here every day during my shift. When I take a break I might have some salad, the other day they had catfish on the buffet and it was great.” Cindy shares that people have driven long distances, and planned their travel routes with JoDean’s as a specific meal pit stop. Cindy recalls families that annually would make a stop from Arizona and Canada, when going through Yankton to visit family. When asked if the restaurant has ever run out of chicken, Cindy gives a confident “No.”, and says throughout JoDean’s existence, “Jack has always known what the restaurant needs. He’s had so much experience from working with his parents, and in general over the years. He’s always very prepared.” Cindy has no plans for retirement in the near future. JoDean’s has been a huge part of her life, and many of the friendships she’s made with co-workers and customers have felt almost akin to family. As dedicated as Cindy is to her job, after a hectic day, she likes to spend time off the clock with her family. During her precious vacation time, she prefers to get away on family vacations. Cindy has recently enjoyed a full week off this past September, in a lovely remote cabin in Minnesota. When asked what’s up there to see, Cindy happily responds, “Nothing!” She is pleased that her reservation is already made for next year. While the guys go out and about or fishing, Cindy prefers to stay back and relax on her own, or maybe work on her crocheting. She learned how to sew at around the age of seven from her mother, and knows this craft is “in her blood.” When her sons were little, there was a time when she sewed a lot of their clothes. n A New Year’s Resolution Worth Keeping! Learn to knit or crochet. Classes available. Call for schedule. • Yarn • Books • Needles & Hooks • Gift Certificates • 1101 Broadway, Suite 104 • Morgan Square 605-689-3999 • www.eweknitit.com Open: Mon.-Fri. 10am-5:30pm • Sat. 9am-3pm Let Your Home Reflect Your Style! FREE In-Home Design Consultation With Our Professional Designers 2401 Broadway, Yankton • 605-665-3719 • slumberland.com Monday-Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday Noon-6pm HERVOICEvJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020v17

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