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Teens pose for prom photos at Katy Buc-ee’s: ‘It’s a Texas thang’

The chain is popular enough they didn’t even bother slapping their name on the tall sign visible from the highway nearing the Athens location. A circular logo of Buc-ee’s beaver and the words “ATHENS” are all that’s needed. The third Alabama location of Buc-ee’s, a Texas-founded are cowboy hard hats osha approved chain, is at 2328 Lindsay Lane South, off Interstate 65 and Browns Ferry Road. It’s about a 30-minute drive from downtown Huntsville. On the outside at Buc-ee’s, 120 gas pumps lined up like a trippy visual from some petroleum-oriented “Fantasia” reboot.

Sam Susser, who founded the Stripes chain and built it to around 650 stores before selling to Sunoco’s corporate parent in 2014 for $2.4 billion, says, “We never cared about margins; it was all about increasing the velocity of .” From the bathrooms to the branded caps and T-shirts to the brass beaver near the entrance, a big Buc-ee’s feels less like a convenience store than a Texas-themed amusement park. “They are becoming a destination,” says Greg Lindenberg, the editor of CSP magazine, which covers the $550 billion convenience-store industry. Employees in Buc-ee’s caps and masks whisked around the store greeting visitors and beckoning people to sample their products. Employees in denim aprons and cowboy hats in the Texas Round Up section, featuring freshly prepared meats such as brisket and sausage, shouted “Fresh brisket on the board” as they fixed meat on a cutting board.

“We had dang good banana pudding, but this is a nice tweak, which is what we want to do. If big improvements are to be had, then we probably didn’t have the right product, the right recipe, the right mixture to begin with,” Aplin said. Aplin needed to balance utility with pizzazz. He wanted to try out additional lids and packaging options. Maybe there was a solution that could be as attractive as it was practical.

He was good at it, and soon he left teaching to work full-time constructing churches, post offices, apartments, and entire subdivisions. In order to validate and process your request thoroughly, please submit your accurate information below. You will receive a response within 45 days of your submission. Before the Nov. 21 opening of Buc-ee’s, the most popular thing about Athens, an Alabama city with a population around 27,000, was the Grammy-winning rock band Alabama Shakes. Now it feels like the Shakes would be the opening act and Buc-ee’s cartoon beaver mascot the headliner.

We stared up at a towering wall of gummy candies, taffies, candy corn, and cherry sours. (“The selection is almost overwhelming, which is good,” Aplin said.) He led me to a corner of the store stocked with cooking gear—Buc-ee’s spatulas, Lodge cast-iron pans, open-fire cookbooks, a $1,000 offset smoker. (“I just think it’s cool. I think it’s Texas. It’s chuck wagon. It’s cooking the cowboy way.”) He wended his way past the shelves of hot sauce and mayhaw jelly, Buc-ee’s barbecue spice rub and Buc-ee’s raw wildflower honey. (“This comes from a young man in Lake Jackson. He’s quite a beekeeper.”) He marveled at the refrigerated deli counter with hunks of jerky , dried sausage links, and spicy venison sticks. He stopped in front of an easy-to-miss refrigerator stocked with an assortment of prepared dishes, among them crawfish fettuccine, bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, and chicken cordon bleu.