SOURCE: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.

April 20, 2010 14:30 ET

A Mother's Idea for Encouraging Children Arrives at Cracker Barrel

Melissa Patton's Creative Collection Reminds Kids to "Bee Friendly™" and "Bee Kind™"

LEBANON, TN--(Marketwire - April 20, 2010) - Each morning before school, Melissa Patton would talk with her young daughter about kindness, honesty and friendliness. It was after one of these conversations that Melissa had an idea. How wonderful it would be for her daughter and other children to see creative reminders of these character traits. This random thought soon evolved into Bee-Tees®, a family business that puts positive messages close to the hearts of children.

Now available at all Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations, the Bee-Tees collection of shirts and hats shares positive character skills with children and their parents. The shirts and hats feature a colorful and smiling bumblebee buzzing next to encouraging words. The messages are simple and quite effective, including Bee Friendly, Bee Honest and Bee Nice. Melissa Patton believes the clothing provides parents with teachable moments to share with their children.

"We wanted to connect with our daughter on a daily basis about the things that truly matter in life: kindness, honesty, fairness and friendliness," says Patton, who lives in a small town in South Carolina. "So my husband and I came up with the idea of putting these messages on shirts that she wore to school. All of a sudden, other parents wanted these shirts for their children, and that's how Bee-Tees was born."

Within a year, the Pattons were selling Bee-Tees clothing at the family diner and thinking of ways to share the idea with families across the country. And then, a chance encounter put Ms. Patton together with a Cracker Barrel  merchandise representative. The conversation soon focused on Bee-Tees and how the encouraging messages appealed to families. That coincidental meeting has extended the reach of these positive messages because the Bee-Tee collection is now available at all Cracker Barrel locations, and there are some items that are exclusive to Cracker Barrel.

"The Bee-Tees collection is a unique idea and one that will definitely appeal to our guests," said Terry Maxwell, Senior Vice President of Retail at Cracker Barrel. "The positive character messages are a natural fit with families and remind us all that kindness, encouragement and honesty are always in style."

In addition to the line of t-shirts and hats, Cracker Barrel will feature an exclusive line of Bee-Tees stationary, greeting cards and note pads. Melissa Patton admits the idea has come a long way in just two years. 

"From the beginning, we felt that Cracker Barrel would be the perfect place for Bee-Tees," said Patton. "We're excited to bring this character building line of clothing to families across America."

About Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® provides a friendly home-away-from-home in its old country stores and restaurants. Guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shopping that's surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America's country heritage... all at a fair price. The restaurant serves up delicious, home-style country food such as meatloaf and homemade chicken n' dumplins as well as its signature biscuits using an old family recipe. The authentic old country retail store is fun to shop and offers unique gifts and self-indulgences.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn. and operates 594 company-owned locations in 41 states. Every Cracker Barrel unit is open seven days a week with hours Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. - 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. For more information, visit: crackerbarrel.com.