Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Wednesday, June 23, 2021

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

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:

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Scott Hunter
1 month 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 month 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 month ago

Yes!

Vanessa Simmons
1 month 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 month 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 month ago

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

Jim
1 month 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 month 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 month 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 month ago
Reply to  Brian Burry

Yes!

Drew
1 month ago

It was a regular family stop for us on the way from Wisconsin to Florida every winter. How do most people pronounce it?

Ronald Duncan
1 month ago

As a young kid back in the late 60’s in Scott Co KY, when I’d stay with my Uncle George and Aunt Alma . Uncle and I would walk down the railroad tracks to Delaplain road then a short walk to the Stuckeys and get Hamburgers from the vending machine.

Chuck Bonelli
1 month ago

As kids on a family vacation (in the early 60’s) driving throughout the southeast, Dad would keep us entertained by offering a nickel to the first one to spot a Stuckey’s billboard. We saw a lot of countryside, and enjoyed shouting “STUCKEY’S! invariably startling Mom & Dad and getting 5¢ to spend at the next stop.

Mike
1 month ago

I remember Stucky’s as a great stop for a cold milkshake on a hot driving day. Their buildings were easily recognized.

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