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Stuckey’s: Roadside Landmark in America

11 Jan

Stuckey’s was a place where you could fill up with gasoline, go to restrooms and shop for souvenirs and the famous Stuckey’s pecan candy.

There was their famous pecan log rolls, pecan divinity and of course pecan pralines. I have to debate with myself whether my favorite was the divinity fudge or the pralines.

First Stuckey’s Physical Building Opened in 1937

The first Stuckey’s building was opened in 1937 and expanded into 350 stores. Stuckey’s merged with Pet Milk in 1967 and the 350 stores dwindled into 75, during the Pet Milk operation of the company. Most of the Stuckey’s stores sold Texaco gasoline back then.

William S. Stuckey Sr., got the idea for the company when he had a bumper crop of pecans in 1930. His wife went to work in the kitchen and experimented with different candy recipes, which were the main drawing card for Stuckey’s, when they opened their first physical store in 1937.

After the fortunes of the company declined during the Pet Milk ownership period, the son of Stuckey, who was U.S. congressman William S. Stuckey restored the Stuckey’s name by purchasing the company and there are now 115 Stuckey’s in the United States at the present time.

Stuckey’s are found as far north today as Connecticut, but surprisingly there are no stores in either New Jersey or New York. Most of the stores are concentrated in the southern states, but there are stores in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Indiana.

Stores are only located in 17 of the 50 states. I was surprised recently to see a Stuckey’s returning on a trip to Houston and the store sold gasoline, souvenirs and had a Popeye’s Fried Chicken place inside the store. There are nine Stuckey’s located in Texas, but the only Stuckey’s in Louisiana according to their website is a store in Opelousas.

It was exciting to see signs for Stuckey’s, since we knew we could get off the road for a while, while we browsed the souvenir shop and found candy to munch on as we continued on down the highway. It is great to know the company still exists 56 years after our 1957 trip from Louisiana to our eventual destination of Maine to visit my uncle and aunt and their family.

Stuckey’s has had its ups and downs since the first store was opened in 1937, but it is good to know, that the company is thriving again, now that the Stuckey family once again own the stores. We want to thank them for restoring our memories of that 1957 trip, when Stuckey’s were a mainstay on the U.S. highway system.

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13 responses to “Stuckey’s: Roadside Landmark in America

  1. Maryanne

    January 11, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    I love it! Americana at it’s best!!

     
    • Andrew Godfrey

      January 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      Maryanne, I feel the same way about Stuckey’s. It was good to know they were still in business, when we stopped at one in Texas.

       
    • Danielle

      May 30, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      Totally agree. Glad to know they are still operating.
      Desperately searching for the old “Stuckey’s soda cups with the cute little faces on it. Got mine in the 80’s.

       
      • Andrew Godfrey

        May 30, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        Tried to find the cups on a Google image search and searched on the cups on ebay, but all I could find were the Stuckey’s coffee cups with no faces on them. Hope you find one soon.

         
      • Danielle

        May 30, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        Thanks for your help. Been looking few years now. Think they came out in 80’s.

         
      • Andrew Godfrey

        May 30, 2013 at 6:45 PM

        Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Am beginning to wonder if anyone saved those cups from the 80’s. Surprised I can’t even find a photo of one.

         
      • Danielle

        May 30, 2013 at 10:47 PM

        My cup disappeared over the years with all the travelling. Haven’t been able to find a photo either.

         
      • Andrew Godfrey

        May 31, 2013 at 7:59 AM

        That is a mystery that no photos can be found online of the cups with faces on them. Guess a lot of the cups were never saved leaving very few in existence.

         
  2. WrigleyRegular

    January 11, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    When I was a young kid growing up in the early 70’s, my parents used to drive my sister and I every year from IL down to FL. Stopping at different Stuckey’s along the way was an absolute most.

    It was always fun to walk around and look at the gifts in the shop. I don’t know why, but I always remember that they carried little tea spoons with the names of the states and/or landmarks on them.

    Thanks for bringing back this memory.

     
  3. gpcox

    January 12, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    We used to travel from NY to Fla. almost every October when I was a kid. I wouldn’t let dad get to Fla. without first stopping at a Stuckey’s along the way – that picture sure brought back memories.

     
    • Andrew Godfrey

      January 12, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      First of all thank you for your service…..That photo brought a lot of memories back to me. Stuckeys and Texaco gasoline were a good reason to stop at Stuckeys, not to mention the pecan candy and souvenirs.

       
  4. KarenDian1

    May 28, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    I loved stopping at Stuckey’s traveling across country as a child, and I am delighted to see the stores are still around. I really enjoyed your article too! Thank you!

     
    • Andrew Godfrey

      May 29, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      Karen, I will never forget the great pecan candy at Stuckey’s and looking at the souvenirs in the stores and the Texaco gasoline being sold there.

       

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