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Stuckey’s, an American classic, is back and tastier than ever!

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By Gail Marsh
“Relax. Refresh. Refuel.” Turquoise slanted roof. Pecan log rolls. Yep, it’s Stuckey’s! And the iconic Stuckey’s roadside mecca just may be making a comeback!

A little Stuckey’s history

In the mid-1930s a Georgian pecan farmer, W. S. Stuckey, and his wife, Ethel, decided to capitalize on a bumper pecan crop. They set up a roadside stand and sold pecans to travelers along Georgia’s highway 23. (As it happens, this road was the main highway connecting the north to Florida in the south.) Business was so good for them that Stuckey expanded his little pecan stand to include nearby farmers’ pecans and honey. Ethel began selling her own special candies at the stand, too: pecan rolls, pecan divinity, and pecan pralines. A business was born!

By the 1960s the Stuckey’s had 368 stores in more than 30 states. This road trip icon offered Texaco gas, clean restrooms, and kitschy souvenirs along with their famous pecan candies. Their 4,000 billboards alerted travelers to their distinctive-looking stores and Stuckey’s became one of the most recognizable brands in the United States. In 1964, Stuckey’s merged with Pet Milk, Inc., in order to increase production and add capital for growth.

Founder, W. S. Stuckey, Sr., died in 1977. That same year, a Chicago company bought out Pet Milk along with Stuckey’s and began closing stores until only a handful of Stuckey’s roadside stores remained in operation.

A comeback for Stuckey’s roadside classic?

In 1984, W. S. Stuckey, Jr. (son of the founder) acquired Stuckey’s and remarketed it as a franchise opportunity called Stuckey’s Express. This “store within a store” concept introduced a whole new generation to the Stuckey’s brand, especially their famous pecan candies.

Stuckey, Jr., concentrated his efforts away from the original roadside concept. With more and more competition popping up along the country’s Interstate highways it seemed the best way to guide the famous company. A downside? Most of the remaining iconic Stuckey’s roadside classic buildings found along the nation’s highways were left to decay.

Today

Stephanie Stuckey, granddaughter of the founders, became CEO of Stuckey’s in 2019. She has an energetic and dynamic vision for the company’s future. She’s opened several new locations and plans to upgrade the 20 remaining original Stuckey’s roadside classic locations, as well. Ms. Stuckey has added close to 200 retail partners and established a successful e-commerce presence in the last few years – even with the pandemic.

In February of this year, Stephanie acquired several companies that will allow the Stuckey’s brand to make and sell its own products for the first time since 1964. The best news of all? Stuckey’s plans to introduce new candy products soon. I can hardly wait!

Little-known fact

During segregation, Stuckey’s was listed in the Green Book (an annual travel guide that helped Blacks safely travel across the U.S.). Stuckey’s was featured in the 2018 movie, “Green Book.”

Do you remember Stuckey’s?

Do you have a favorite Stuckey’s candy or memorable souvenir? Tell us about it in the comments!

Related:

RV App Reviews: Roadside America – Don’t miss a thing!

##RVT1000

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27 Comments
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WilBB
27 days ago

I remember Stucky’s. But there was also a similar stop (early 70s) that usually had a bee hive behind plexiglass on one end of store. Even sold local honey. Might have been more popular in Missouri.

Last edited 27 days ago by WilBB
Kathleen Manoff
3 months ago

Oh Stuckey’s was wonderful.
we went acrossed the states from California to the East coast in our RV.
every Blue roof Stuckey’s we saw we stopped.
I think we ate more pecan rolls on that trip than in my whole life.
we still look for them to this day.
oh now that they are in business we will be on the lookout for them on our travels.
Thank You. You make me believe in Santa Claus again.
Oh Thank You, Thank you.
will you have a map and catalog of your stores??
and where can I get one??

David Solberg
3 months ago

Gail,
I’ve been following Stepahanie for the past year on Linkedin and it’s been a great comeback adventure!

Gary
3 months ago

Article is over a year old. How ’bout updating it.

KellyR
3 months ago
Reply to  Gary

Yep. I’m a year older too, but still relevant.

Drew
3 months ago

I hope this is a success although we’re in the west. I never saw any out here. When we lived in the midwest my Dad took us to Florida almost every winter and we stopped at many of them in the Georgia and Tennessee areas- very fond memories in the early 60’s.

Editor- you should forward all these comments to the family so they have some more encouragement!

Lisa Adcox
3 months ago

We stopped at a Stuckeys off of I-40 going into North Carolina on our Honeymoon. We were getting coffee and gas. Found the Wood United States Map that you put your collectors Spoons in . It will be 34 years old this coming Sept 3rd. A great memory.

Karen Bates
3 months ago

We would stop at Stuckeys as a kid, after visiting my grandparents in Memphis. There was one that was just about halfway to Nashville and was a perfect time to stop! Of course, Dad was always in a hurry to get back on the road so it was just usually a quick stop! Always remember the wonderful aromas and Pecan rolls! I have been following Stephanie on LinkedIn for awhIle and she us quite the go-getter!!

David Stansbury
3 months ago

Oh, I remember Stuckey’s. Must have been a big thing back east, cause there wasn’t very many out west. And every one was absolutely horrible. Just plain old nasty sterile food with the worst candy selection ever. Yeah, I remember Stuckey’s.

Joan
3 months ago

I remember summer of 1974. I was a young adult, managed to take a six-week tent camping vacation through the western U.S. Stuckey’s had a free service by which you could check in and retrieve emergency alerts from home. I don’t remember the exact process, just that, instead of having to use a pay phone to call home every few days, you could check in at a Stuckey’s and would be informed if there was an emergency, and then you’d make the call. My parents appreciated that they could have some semblance of emergency contact before the era of cell phones. Oh, and I really liked their cedar boxes, smelled so refreshing!

Tom
3 months ago

I remember as a kid, on the long drive from Florida to Pennsylvania every Summer begging Dad to stop at every Stuckey’s that we saw. Must have stopped at #1. 99cent pecan logs.
I will be looking for them.
RV parking please.

Selene Montgomery
4 months ago

When I was a child, my Dad always looked for Stuckey’s when we traveled. He used Texaco gas (their brand), and Mom & I always shopped inside. We would usually buy some of the pecan roll candy, and perhaps other treats. Nice to hear their making a comeback, and hope they have RV fuel lanes or parking!

Kristine Honer
11 months ago

I fondly remember Stuckeys from our vacation trips from N.J. to Florida in the 1960’s- 1970s when I was a child.
Loved their miniature pecan pies.
Good memories!

Scott Hunter
1 year ago

We used to stop at Stuckey’s on our trips back and forth to New York every other summer. I always got to buy a polished stone and a malt!

Elizabeth Stafford
1 year ago

Stuckeys was/is an American icon. Before fast foods, this was the place to stop for a hot meal and a traveling break. We usually had a hot roast beef sandwich. Of course, the iconic log rolls. Also so many souvenirs. The redwood boxes and most anything you can think of, especially for the location. Glad to hear they are coming back.

Magee Willis
1 year ago

Yes!

Vanessa Simmons
1 year ago

Driving from NV to GA earlier this year I thought I saw a Stucky’s but figured I was mistaken! Glad to see them making a comeback. It was a regular stop when we went from GA to my aunt and uncles house in central FL. Love the pecan logs.

Dan
1 year ago

There’s a Stuckey’s about 25 miles away from us. We go there occasionally because they still have MALTS, not just milk shakes. It’s in no way the same old Stuckey’s we remember from years ago, but the malts are still great.

Donald N Wright
1 year ago

Ah Stuckeys, the milk shakes were just big enough, when you were finished, there was another Stuckeys !

Jim
1 year ago

I can’t remember the town, but back in the 70s, there was a Stuckey’s along I-55 in Mississippi that we always stopped at on the way to my grandparents. Pecan logs, pecan pralines, and root beer were our faves. When it closed down, Krystals became our go-to place for 30+ burgers.

rvgrandma
1 year ago

Stuckey’s gave me my love for brittle. Where I grew up there was one about 20 miles away in Woodburn. Once in a while mom would make a special trip because she loved their brittle too. Last time I was in the area (in the 90s) the building had finally had new tenants – a trailer place (trailers like ones to haul stuff in). On the way to Spokane between Ritzville and Spokane there is an abandoned building that looks like an old Stuckey’s.

Brian Burry
1 year ago

We wish Stephanie Stuckey, granddaughter of the founders, well. Their wonderful history and service was appreciated by so many of us traveling long distances. Very best to her!

Magee Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Burry

Yes!