Mother and daughter JoAnn and Laurin Yoder head to Brumit Restaurant Group in south Asheville on weekday mornings to begin work in their respective offices.
JoAnn serves as president of Brumit, which operates Arby’s restaurants in North and South Carolina. Laurin is supervisor of marketing and catering for the company.
“We work pretty close together,” said JoAnn. “It’s been challenging, and very rewarding.”
The biggest challenge for Laurin is not calling JoAnn “mom” at work. Taking direction from her mother is not a problem, she said.
“I spent the majority of my life having her tell me what to do—and now I get paid for it,” Laurin said with a smile.
Laurin joined the restaurant management group a year and a half ago after graduating from college. After exploring options with different companies, she decided that working at Brumit was her best option.
JoAnn has 30-year history with Arby’s, having started with the restaurant chain as a back-line cook while a student at Appalachian State University in Boone.
“I worked my way up,” JoAnn said.
After completing college and marrying, JoAnn moved to Hickory with her husband. And she continued her association with Arby’s, transitioning to restaurant management after being hired by Brumit.
Hickory was a good location for working with the company because it was in the middle of the North Carolina Arby’s restaurants, JoAnn said.
Her two daughters, Laurin and Ashley, used to play in Arby’s curly fries boxes when they were young. When the girls were teenagers, their parents encouraged them to begin working, and they were employed at Arby’s.
Based on her experience at Arby’s as a teen, Laurin made Brumit her career choice. She now spends much of her time doing graphic design for the company, as well as working with media agencies.
In addition to their primary responsibilities at Brumit, JoAnn and Laurin coordinate fundraisers for the business through Arby’s Foundation.
JoAnn serves on the board of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County and Laurin is a board member of the Mountain Child Advocacy Center.
Through $75,000 in funds the Arby’s Foundation granted to the area United Way, JoAnn and her team are continuing with the homework diners’ program for local children in need.
Once a week, JoAnn gathers a group of Brumit staff members who go to area schools and help students with homework and serve them a hot meal in the evening.
“It’s a great program,” JoAnn said. “We’ve been partnering with them for 13 years.”
In this region where there is so much food insecurity for youngsters and families, it is important to provide assistance to those in need, she said.
“At the end of the day, we want to make a positive impact,” JoAnne said.
The total donations to the Mountain Child Advocacy Center top $100,000, supporting prevention education classes in local schools for about 9,000 children, as well as providing intensive therapy for children who have suffered from abuse or neglect, according to the Arby's Foundation.
Brumit partners with and supports many regional organizations including Eblen Charities, United Way, Child Abuse Prevention Services, Special Olympics, Eliada Homes, Habitat for Humanity, Charlotte United Christian Academy, the North Carolina Autism Association and Toys for Tots.
“Brumit Restaurant Group is very passionate about giving back and being a responsible partner in the community,” JoAnn said.
The company founded by Joe Brumit operates 54 Arby’s restaurants in North and South Carolina. The company started as a franchisee in 1988 with 13 Arby’s in western North Carolina.
For more information, visit the website https://www.brgconnect.com/.