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If you’re the type of RVer that loves long-distance travel, there’s a chance you’ve come across a Buc-ee’s at least once, especially if you’ve spent some time in Texas. You’ll find a location is fairly hard to miss since Buc-ee’s is so popular.
These “pit stops” along the road are simply massive, easily covering the acreage of real estate of a grocery store. Then there’s the sea of gas pumps—over 100 of them at a minimum.
There’s probably a larger volume of concrete, diesel, and gasoline concentrated at a single Buc-ee’s than anything in the world outside of a petroleum refinery. That’s just a brief and inadequate description of the outside, with the inside existing on a whole other level.
How Many Buc-ee’s are There?
Buc-ee’s is so popular due to its 44 locations throughout the U.S. Most of them are concentrated in Texas, which makes sense when considering how Buc-ee’s got its start. A Texas A&M graduate named Archer Aplin III took the artistical concept of the Ipana Beaver and created the Buc-ee’s mascot, along with the first location.
Considering the immense popularity of Buc-ee’s and how crowded they are daily, it’s only a matter of time before Buc-ee’s spreads to more states throughout the country.
Is Buc-ee’s Just a Truck Stop?
Many people mistake Buc-ee’s for truck stops, which is understandable. Truck stops are usually large, with restaurants or fast food inside, a massive stable of diesel pumps, and larger bathrooms, so long-haul truckers have a place to wash off.
Buc-ee’s is often much larger than traditional and even popular truck stops, but it’s not a truck stop itself. Not even close. Buc-ee’s is more like a hybrid of several things. The concept of a “truck stop” doesn’t even begin to describe what you’ll truly find on the premises.
That’s because Buc-ee’s is so popular for travelers, tourists, and locals more than anything else. It’s a family store, designed like a grocery, deli, semi-fast food restaurant, souvenir shop, local farmer’s market, Hallmark, and fun center all rolled into one good time.
What is Buc-ee’s Mascot?
The founder of Buc-ee’s, Arch Aplin III, liked the Ipana toothpaste mascot so much that he came up with his own design for the Buc-ee’s mascot, sharing similar artistic inspiration in its overall aesthetic.
Buc-ee’s History in a Nutshell
Around the same time Arch was working over the Buc-ee’s mascot in his head, he was also founding the very first Buc-ee’s in Clute, Texas. He didn’t do it alone, either. His founding partner was Don Wasek. Together, they opened the first store in 1982.
The first store was only 3,000 sq. ft., a far cry from the 66,300 sq. ft. monster constructed in New Braunfels, TX, many years later. Though it’s been forty years, Buc-ee’s is now gaining serious momentum, taking its first small steps beyond the borders of the Lone Star State.
Does Buc-ee’s Have Showers?
Buc-ee’s stores have massive bathrooms but no showers. One of the things that Buc-ee’s is famous for is having clean bathrooms. You might wonder why that’s such a huge business focus until you walk into an Exxon bathroom at two in the morning and have to struggle to keep your dinner down.
Who Owns Buc-ee’s?
Buc-ee’s is co-owned by the original founder of 1982 fame, Arch Aplin III, and a suite of investors. Currently, Arch owns the majority of shares in the company. Aplin is a graduate of Texas A&M University, and he founded the convenience store with longtime friend Don Wasek, though Wasek isn’t listed as a business owner.
Where are Buc-ee’s Stores Located?
The vast majority of Buc-ee’s stores are located in the state of Texas. If there’s one thing that upsets Texans, it’s to take something that originated there and bring it elsewhere. They’re sad to see a homegrown company spread outside the Texas borders, but Buc-ee’s is so popular the company itself is growing and spreading to other states due to its national attention.
How Many Buc-ee’s in Texas?
According to Buc-ee’s on-site map, there are 34 locations in Texas. There used to be 35, but one of them closed down. Texas is the home of the Buc-ee’s brand and will likely be the state with the highest number of Buc-ee’s for decades to come.
How Many Buc-ee’s in Alabama?
There are three Buc-ee’s in the state of Alabama, with the newest one in Loxley. Technically, it’s a little outside of Loxley, positioned at a brand-new access road that leads out to Orange Beach, AL.
It was an excellent decision to place it there on I-10, as it captures the eastbound tourists heading to Florida destinations like Pensacola Beach, Destin, Ft. Walton Beach, and Navarre. It also gobbles up all the tourists heading south off I-10 toward Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, AL.
How Many Buc-ee’s in Tennessee?
There is only one location in Tennessee right now, and you must travel up onto the Cumberland Plateau to reach it. It’s located in a little town called Crossville, between Monterey and Cookeville.
How Many Buc-ee’s in Florida?
There are two locations in Florida, along with the Alabama Buc-ee’s mentioned above (Loxley—right across the Florida Panhandle state line as you enter Alabama). Saint Augustine, FL. and Daytona Beach, FL, play host to the two Buc-ee’s.
The word is out that a new Buc-ee’s is coming just outside of Milton, Florida as well, but it remains to be seen.
How Many Buc-ee’s in South Carolina?
Florence, SC. is home to the state’s lone Buc-ee’s. It’s been largely successful so far, but South Carolina is very resistant to additional Buc-ee’s coming to the area, citing traffic congestion as a primary concern.
Can You Order Buc-ee’s Merch and Food Online?
You sure can order merchandise and food online. Buc-ee’s has a decent online portal with simple navigation and drop-down menus for finding your favorite Buc-ee’s merchandise and snacks. Speaking of snacks, that’s the limit of food you can order through Buc-ee’s online.
Not everything in Buc-ee’s is all about their brand. Buc-ee’s merchandise includes everything a typical gift store or tourism center will have, including coffee mugs, T-shirts, figurines, bumper stickers, dinner plates, coolers, napkins, and more. You can find the Buc-ee’s Amazon Store on line and have whatever you want delivered to you in a day or two!
We could go on and on, but you get the point. When it comes to Buc-ee’s merchandise, there’s a lot of it, and the online store has it covered.
These are the heart and soul of Buc-ee’s merchandise sales. They offer many T-shirts, including fleece crew necks, rockstar tees, wrap neck oversize tees, 40th-anniversary tees, and, of course, the traditional T-shirts with the Buc-ee’s mascot logo.
Every Buc-ee’s offers something a little different here and there, depending on the location. Online ordering encompasses all of that. However, Buc-ee’s only offers a single item in its blanket lineup through its online store, and it’s a limited edition Valentine’s fleece throw blanket.
However, you can visit websites like Texas Snack and find the Buc-ee’s blankets. It’s mostly fleece throws, and fleece is always nice.
You can purchase pajamas from the above-linked Texas Snack store online as well. They aren’t listed on Buc-ee’s official website. Fortunately, Texas Snack is a far more robust online store than the official one.
If you’re into buying Buc-ee’s merchandise, you must have a Buc-ee’s hat. It’s practically a necessity. Since not everyone is a fan of traditional hats, Buc-ee’s also offers beanies, Christmas hats, and earflap beanies.
Buc-ee’s will keep you warm with hoodies as well. Buc-ee’s sells simple hoodies for youth, women, and men. They won’t stave off worse than 30° weather, but hey, you’ll have one.
Buc-ee’s definitely has sweaters. What kind of souvenir shop wouldn’t have sweaters? It does get cold in the northern parts of Texas, after all.
Buc-ee’s doesn’t get too elaborate with keychains. They do sell a keychain; however, the keyword is “a.” It’s just a simple key tag with the Buc-ee’s mascot logo that slides onto your keyring.
Buc-ee’s Beef Jerky
If you like beef jerky, you’ll find that Buc-ee’s menu is a little…different. Oh, you’ll find plenty of traditional beef and turkey jerky, but Buc-ee’s also sells a wide variety of interesting jerky flavors that are well out of the mainstream. All of which is available for online ordering.
A lot of people think the Buc-ee’s mascot is a squirrel. Naturally, nuts follow. Although the Buc-ee’s mascot is really a beaver, they have plenty of nuts on hand. For online orders, nuts of any kind are packaged and vacuum sealed. You’ll have to go to a Buc-ee’s location if you want boiled peanuts.
Buc-ee’s Popcorn & Beaver Nuggets
Buc-ee’s Caramel Popcorn and Triple Mix Popcorn aren’t quite world-famous, but that’s only because Buc-ee’s hasn’t conquered the world yet.
Buc-ee’s Barbeque Sauce
So, Why is Buc-ee’s So Popular?
Buc-ee’s popularity is less about the mascot and more about the service. Its stores are huge, entertaining, loaded with food and merchandise, and have some of the best customer service of any convenience store, regardless of size.
They also have some of the cleanest bathrooms of any public or private facility in the country. You would be surprised how far a clean bathroom will take you. Travelers have to stop and go to the bathroom after all.
About The Author:
Thomas Godwin is a full-time freelance writer with a BFA in Creative Writing, a U.S. Marine, and an avid outdoorsman.
When he’s not writing, he’s raising chickens and Appleyard ducks. Thomas also constructs teardrop campers (attempting to anyway) and kayaks the Blackwater River with his wife, two daughters, and his Dobermans.