What you see now, if you pass a Stuckey’s along the highway, is just one among many convenience/snack/confections stores along your route. But there was a time when one of the few available options for travelers was this oasis known for its pecan products. Back then, Stuckey’s was the stuff.
You can’t make up a name like Stuckey’s, and sure enough, the company was founded in the 1930s by W.S. Stuckey, Sr. in Eastman, Georgia. Like hundreds of other farmers, he had a roadside stand along a main route to Florida selling his produce – in this case, pecans. Before long, Ethel Stuckey began making pecan divinities and pecan logs to sell at the stand. The business was so successful that they constructed a building. Then added a restaurant. Then gas pumps.
I suppose the rest of the story tells itself. At one point there were some 350 Stuckey’s locations across the country. Then America’s travel habits changed, competition increased, and Pet Milk purchased the company. Pet didn’t devote many resources to Stuckey’s, and the number of stores dwindled to 75. The Stuckey family repurchased the chain, though, and now has more than 200 stores in 19 states. They’re clean, and nice, and still sell lots of pecan candy. Even so, the memory of seeing that Stuckey’s sign on the highway and trying to persuade dad to stop is an enduring childhood memory.