If you’ve been road tripping, or know someone who has, recently, the uber popular gas station/rest stop/convenience store, BUC-EE’s, may have come up in conversation. But why is BUC-EE’s so popular? From a gal that visited for her very first time recently, here’s the scoop at why it’s a road trip must stop.
A recent road trip to several southeast states made for a huge question in my mind every time I’d drive by a BUC-EE’s: what’s the big deal about a convenient store and gas station? Finally, I caved and visited a location in Georgia and, much to my surprise, I saw what the fuss was all about. Her’es my take on why BUC-EE’s is so popular.
Why Is BUC-EE’s So Popular? The Basics
BUC-EE’s (also found as Buckey’s and Bucees online) began its first travel center in 2003 in Luling, Texas. Owned and created by Arch “Beaver” Aplin III in 1982 in Clute, Texas, it wasn’t until 2018 that the company began expanding outside of the state.
Fast forward to present where there are now 58 locations throughout the south and southeast including Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Happily, Colorado will soon be getting it’s own BUC-EE’s, making the jump from the southern region to the mountain states.
Additionally, the company has won awards for cleanest convenient store bathroom and that’s saying something, considering how many thousands of people walk through their doors everyday.
And if you really like stats, BUC-EE’s has a few record-breaking ones:
The New Braunfels store is the largest convenience store in the world at 66,335 square feet.
The world’s longest car wash clocks in at 255 feet of conveyor.
Why Is BUC-EE’s So Popular? The Food
When it’s stated that BUC-EE’s is a convenient store, that’s entirely an understatement. Its massive size, combined with the look and feel of a small Walmart, makes for not only a rest stop & gas station but it’s like walking into a full on grocery store. I, personally, in all of my travels have never seen anything like it – and that’s a good thing.
If you love beef jerky and candy, BUC-EE’s will not disappoint. In fact, it’s known for its giant jerky wall and massive candy selection. and if I’m talking road trip food for many Americans, the company hit the nail on the proverbial head.
Additionally, there are soft drink and slushie stations, a hot food counter, desserts, clothing, and even outdoor smokers and grills for sale at some locations. Here’s my take: if you were headed on a road trip to attend a party, birthday, anniversary, or any other celebrations and forgot to buy a gift, BUC-EE’s has you covered.
Why Is BUC-EE’s So Popular? The Branding
Not only is there a colossal amount of items for sale, the company has the lockdown on brand, similar to a theme park. You know the popular phrase, “All rides end in a gift shop?” It looks like all BUC-EE’s convenience stores do as well.
When you visit a location, there’s no way to miss an entire section dedicated to BUC-EE’s merchandise. Yes, I totally caved and bought a sweatshirt with the famous beaver logo on it (it was affordably priced, after all), but there’s everything from swimsuits and swim trunks (forgot to pack yours and headed to the beach? Ideal.) to birthday party supplies. Yep, if you want a BUC-EE’s themed birthday party, it’s got you covered.
Sure, I can see the appeal the cute mascot would have for kiddos wanting an all out themed party, so someone in corporate is thinking out of the box.
In a Nutshell
The big question is, “Would I visit a BUC-EE’s again?”
The answer? Absolutely. The prices are affordable, the bathrooms are so clean there’s no ick factor, and I love how happy the folks that work there look and act. I’ll proudly wear my sweatshirt and know I’m among friends when I do.