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How it happened: How Buc-ee’s convenience stores got so famous

We RVers see our fair share of roadside pitstops. But one stands above the rest. Far above. That’s Buc-ee’s roadside stores. First, realize that your Buc-ee’s visit will not be your ordinary “fuel-quick-and-get-back-on-the-road” kind of stop! Instead, this roadside mega-store will cause your jaw to drop. Your eyes will go wide, and you may even forget your urgency to locate the restrooms! No, really.

“Go big or go home” might be an apt motto for the Buc-ee’s brand. They’ve certainly upped the ante among convenience stores. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.

Buc-ee’s

The Buc-ee’s brand originated in Texas. In 1982, co-owners Arch (“Beaver”) Aplin and Don Wasek set out to make their travel stops the very best in the world. Their marketing strategy? The promise of clean restrooms. Yep, all along the Texas highways, Buc-ee’s billboards teased travelers with this promise. And it worked! Turns out, travelers wanted clean restrooms. (Don’t we all?)

Buc-ee’s famously clean restrooms

Fun fact: In 2012, Cintas, a business services company, conducted a national contest for the nation’s cleanest restrooms. Buc-ee’s won! Overwhelmingly so! Of course, it takes a round-the-clock, dedicated cleaning crew to keep the toilets sparkling, but the dedication pays off. “If given a choice,” one happy customer smiled, “I’d choose Buc-ee’s over any other travel center! It’s so clean. And big. It’s got everything a road warrior could hope for!”

Fueling

Obviously you can fuel your RV at a Buc-ee’s. The newer stations offer plenty of space to maneuver your rig into position. Each fuel pump offers both diesel and regular. Some stores even feature ethanol-free fuel and DEF. The big bonus is that you won’t navigate around any tractor trailers. Commercial over-the-road big rigs are not permitted at Buc-ee’s.

Big and better

In 2012, Buc-ee’s opened a humongous store in New Braunfels, Texas. This travel center is officially the largest convenience store in the world. Don’t believe me? It’s approximately 68,000 square feet! That’s big. Even for Texas! With 120 gas pumps and 1,000 parking spots, you can fuel up and make use of the restroom with virtually no wait—ever!

Still, do not plan on getting back on the road anytime soon. It will take a while to choose a snack, buy a souvenir, and simply stare in amazement and wonder.

Other Buc-ee’s amenities

If you’ve ever wished for it, Buc-ee’s probably stocks it! Here are a few of the products you can expect to find at Buc-ee’s:

  • Souvenirs. Add to your collection of shot glasses, magnets, or T-shirts. Or let the kids press a penny!
  • Food. Buc-ee’s offers cheesesteak burritos, BBQ brisket sandwiches, breakfast tacos, and a yummy pastrami Rueben sandwich, among a plethora of other meal options.
  • Snacks. Probably the most famous snack is Buc-ee’s Beaver Nuggets (sweet, crunchy puffed corn). But you can also find a wide variety of dried fruit and vegetables, along with trail mixes in various flavors. There is an amazing variety of jerky, and you can pick up some unusual snacks like pickled quail eggs, candied jalapenos, and mayhaw jelly, too! Oh, and don’t forget to pick up some candied nuts (made on-premises) before you leave.
  • Clothing. You’ll find swimsuits, T-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, and so much more! Grab a Buc-ee’s hat as a souvenir if you like. Although I doubt you’ll ever forget your Buc-ee’s experience.

Not just in Texas

Buc-ee’s has expanded and now has stores in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, as well as several stores in Texas. Plans are to continue the expansion to include the states of Missouri, Colorado, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Do you have a favorite travel convenience store? Have you ever visited a Buc-ee’s? Share your thoughts in the comments, please.

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Shawn Boling
1 month ago

I’m old-school. Grew up in Central Texas. As a kid we traveled to see family in Washington. Our gas stops were “Stuckey’s”, so I see our new replacement (Modern Day travel stop) Buckees!!
Stuckeys to Buckees!!
Definitely make a stop every time I travel, BBQ sandwiches to the travel snacks my favorite!! Love all the gift ideas as well. Shawn B

Neal Davis
1 month ago

My favorite fueling stop while in the RV is a TA or Petro because of the deep discounts we get there via the TSD Logistics fuel card. As to bathroom, we almost always use the one in the RV. As to souvenirs, we don’t buy them at fuel stops, and rarely elsewhere (we take pictures instead). I think that I saw a Buckees once, but maybe not. Our rig is 43′ and we tend to mostly travel interstates. Buckees sounds like a good distraction to avoid.

Roger C
1 month ago

FYI, the Richmond, KY is open!

Gig'em!
1 month ago

Texas A&M Aggie owned and operated!

Neal Davis
1 month ago
Reply to  Gig'em!

Good to know, thank you!

Pete Gilles
1 month ago

I was on my way to see my daughter and family after their move from MN to Houston. I kept seeing these signs for Buc-ees. I called her and asked “What the heck is Buc-ees?” She said “stop and see!” What a blast! I stocked up on Pecan Honey Butter for me and several types of jerky for S-I-L and fudge for daughter. It became a compulsory stop for bi-annual trips to TX. Now they live in Nashville — closest Buc-ees will be Knoxville — boo hoo!

bill n staceu
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete Gilles

Buc-ees will be opening in Crossville, TN in July… (Right off I-40) : )

Charles
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete Gilles

There will be a Buc-ees just north of Bowling Green, KY on I65 very soon!

Leonard Rempel
1 month ago

Agreed. Buc-ee’s is the best! I tried them for the first time this winter, and was blown away at everything that they do, and especially the spotless washrooms. If they are on our route, we stop.

Ray Zimmermann
1 month ago

There is now a place called Wally’s, one on I-55 in Pontiac, Illinois and one just opened on I-44 in the St. Louis area. I’m guessing the founder got the idea from Bucee’s, since it’s pretty much an exact copycat.

Gary
1 month ago

It’s not Top Tier gas so I only go there if there is no Top Tier easily available.

Peggy
1 month ago

Love Buc-ee’s!! Was just at the St. Augustine FL location yesterday. Made a special trip.

Bill n stacey
1 month ago

Buc-ees Has True American Values!

Bill n stacey
1 month ago

Best!

Steve
1 month ago

Never heard of Buc-ees until this article. If they are coming to Colorado and are such a big deal, you would think we would have seen or read something in the local media. We heard about In & Out Burger and Krispy Kreme for months, maybe years, before they opened their first stores here. Maybe a gas station just doesn’t garner the same mass excitement that a new donut or hamburger franchise creates.

Scott
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

I live in Arvada and have known about the new Buc-ees in Johnstown for months. I CAN’T WAIT. You must get your news from facebook.

Bill n stacey
1 month ago

We love Buc-ees!! Owned and Operated with “Conservative American Values”..

Sharon N.
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill n stacey

Buc-ees is one of the few things we actually miss from our years in Texas, but we’ll soon have one open here in Crossville, TN. Just so everyone knows, you don’t have to share their “Conservative American Values” to shop there or get fuel. They also welcome those with other than “Conservative Values”.

Gregory Brott
1 month ago

Ditto as to Buc-ee’s is the BEST ever!!!

Steven M Jenkins
1 month ago

We finally got one in St Augustine. Hurrah!

Drew
1 month ago

There’s no over nighting here. It seems like that would be a natural thing to offer, but it’s a neat place anyway.

Don
1 month ago

What a great place to stop. Had the opportunity to stop at a Buc-ee’s several times in the last year and a half. Great restrooms and a convenient place to gas up.
They truly do it right!

Patricia
1 month ago

We stopped at our 1st Buc-ee’s in Tennessee on our way to Florida. It was very busy. Great BBQ sandwiches. Was easy to get our Class C gassed up. And it was great to find large areas parking.

Dave
1 month ago

The last Buc-ees we stopped at in Ennis,Tx,not only were the Turkey Sandwiches great, but the diesel was the cheapest so far on this 2100 mile trip.

John Goodell
1 month ago

I was wintering in Arizona when I had a Texan tell me about Buc-ee’s in such glowing terms that it made me want to stop off and see. It is REALLY TRUE that they have the biggest and cleanest bathrooms you will ever see (hands down, by far, no contest!). You have to see it to believe it. And the most gas pumps with diesel at all the pumps, with competitive prices. The picture above may be missing the other pumps, because most of the Buc-ee’s I have been to have SEVERAL fuel islands as big as in the picture. I have never waited for a pump, and they usually have signs directing RV’s to a fueling area with more room and more space for RV parking. The store is department store-sized, with great food, and a very large variety of merchandise in the theme of Texas, the Southwest, and country. When we plan a trip through Texas, we now look for a Buc-ee’s for lunch time, which isn’t hard because it seems like they are all over Texas.

Last edited 1 month ago by John Goodell

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