3 Surprising Facts About Buc-ee’s That Will Make You Love It Even More

a bucees drinking cup in front of a bucees store

Three fun facts about Buc-ee's you may not have known (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Lesser-known fun facts about the world’s most beloved travel center: Buc-ee’s

As the self-proclaimed preeminent Buc-ee’s journalist East of the Mississippi, I’ve certainly learned a lot about the cathedral to convenience. And frankly, I’m also happy to spread the gospel of the greatest gas station ever conceived by man. Just ask the folks at the paper of record in Ft. Worth Texas.

In this article, we will talk about some of the lesser-known fun facts of Buc-ee’s. The massive South Texas-based convenience store chain is sweeping across the South one interstate location at a time. Among the fun facts we will discuss are Buc-ee’s shoppers, Buc-ee’s has big expansion plans and also why there are no semi-trucks. 

hammocks for sale at a bucees
Buc-ee’s sells food and so much more (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

1. You can now purchase Buc-ee’s merch and snacks online – for a fee

A big part of the Buc-ee’s experience is the merch. The unique items that are available only at Buc-ee’s. Branded cups, blankets and so much more are part of the larger Buc-ee’s experience. And the original Buc-ee’s only foodstuffs like Beaver Nuggets, beef jerky and salsa are in high demand as well. 

But, Buc-ee’s isn’t Walmart. Specifically, there’s no online shop where you can buy your family a matching set of Beaver pajamas. Therefore, if you want Buc-ee’s stuff, you have to get to a Buc-ee’s, which was tough for a large part of the country where there’s no Buc-ee’s anywhere nearby. But, to paraphrase Dr. Ian Malcom in “Jurassic Park” capitalism finds a way. Thus, Buc-ee’s shoppers started popping up. My wife found hers through Facebook. These are people who live near a Buc’ees and – for a small mark-up – will do your Buc-ee’s shopping. They will then ship. at your expense, the beaver goods right to your front door. NOTE: Utilize this strategy at your own risk. Scammers are prolific in Facebook Buc-ee’s groups.

However, remember when I said Buc-ee’s wasn’t Walmart? That remains true but it’s changing. Buc-ee’s merch and packaged food are now available online through Walmart and Amazon. The massive retailers essentially serve as the delivery system for a website called TexasSnax.com. The problem? Each time it passes through a reseller the markup is bigger. For instance? One 13-ounce bag of Beaver Nuggets is selling on Walmart’s website for nearly $16 at the time of this writing. But they retail for under $5. So you’re better off finding a reliable Buc-ee’s shopper than going through the massive markup at Walmart or Amazon. 

Buc-ee's Storefront
Buc-ee’s, known for its food and clean restrooms, has opened 13 Buc-ee’s outside of Texas and more are on the way (photo courtesy of Bu-cee’s)

2. Buc-ee’s is (probably) coming to a city near you

Jenny Rudolph, the author of the Ft. Worth Telegram article mentioned above that extensively quoted me, said Buc-ee’s leadership rarely shares its business plans. Rudolph couldn’t even get Buc-ee’s leadership to respond to her requests for comment. But she cited a March 2019 Texas Monthly profile of founder Arch “Beaver” Aplin III. That article – Buc-ee’s: The Path to World Domination – noted a map of the country with dozens of thumbtacks identifying possible locations. 

Buc-ee’s – which didn’t open its first store outside the state of Texas until 2019 – is on the march. By my count, in five years there have been 13 Buc-ee’s opened outside of Texas with more on the way. The one in Sevierville is the biggest convenience store in the world, until the one under construction in Luling, Texas is finished. In five years, Buc-ee’s has opened four Alabama locations, two in Georgia, two in Tennessee and one each in South Carolina, Missouri and also Kentucky. More are under construction or planned in Florida, Louisiana, Kentucky, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia and maybe Wisconsin. 

Somewhere I picture old Arch Aplin III – lord of the Buc-ee’s empire – speaking with the six-foot Buc-ee Beaver he keeps in his house. “Gee Arch, what are we going to do tonight?” the beaver asks. “The same thing we do every night, Beaver. Try to take over the world.”

“Somewhere I picture old Arch Aplin III – lord of the Buc-ee’s empire – speaking with the six-foot Buc-ee Beaver he keeps in his house. ‘“’Gee Arch, what are we going to do tonight?’”’ the beaver asks. ‘“’The same thing we do every night, Beaver. Try to take over the world.'”

– John Gullion, Contributor, TheSmokies.com
Buc-ee's No Semis Sign
Buc-ee’s is reportedly geared toward the family travelers (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokeis.com)

3. Buc-ee’s disallows trucks to keep the focus on family travel

I may be a little obtuse, but it took me more than a few visits to Buc-ee’s to realize there were no semi-trucks or tractor-trailers around. Why? Buc-ee’s forbids them. In the Buc-ee’s world, 18-wheelers are verboten. Why? Director of Operations Josh Smith told the Knoxville News Sentinel Buc-ee’s is set up for the family traveler. As a result, Buc-ee’s doesn’t have the space or capacity to hold 18-wheelers in the lot. 

“We respect them,” he said. “We thank them for what they do. Unfortunately, we’re not designed to have 18-wheeler traffic in the parking lot.”

That “unfortunately” is doing a lot of work, right? Sorry truckers. Just unlucky. I think what Smith told the Sentinel is probably accurate. The question, however, becomes why. I think it’s pretty easy. Would you rather have a truck with one or two people taking up all that space? From a financial perspective, Buc-ees should park six or eight carloads with families rather than one truck. Is a truck driver buying merch? Are they sticking around and checking out the impulse buys? Also, where allowable by law Buc-ee’s sells gas at a decent mark down. Gas is a loss leader for Buc-ee’s. Let tractor-trailers gas up and there’s a lot more loss and a lot less leader. 

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