Russell and I are building a home in New Braunfels, Texas. It’s a super cool city close to San Antonio. What’s fantastic about New Braunfels, besides being so close to the Alamo City (which has lots of coffee) is that it has a Buc-ee’s. What is Buc-ee’s you ask?
Now if you’re not from around here or around the southern states, you may not know what Buc-ee’s is. At the end of this blog, you’ll know everything about the worlds most amazing convenience store. Even things you probably don’t need to know like how Buc-ee’s is really well known for the cleanest bathrooms of a convenience store ever, and really cheap ice.
To begin our fun journey, let’s start with a little history lesson:
What is Buc-ee’s?
Buc-ee’s is a famous store with Texan roots. Beaver Aplin opened the first store in Lake Jackson in 1982. It’s basically Texas as a convenience store. It’s big, full of BBQ and takes you forever to get from one part to the other. Buc-ee’s is a rest stop, gas station, souvenir shop, and restaurant all in one. Aplin looked at the business strategies of Sam Walton, the owner of Wal-mart, as he built his phenomenon of a business.
These are not chicken nuggets Buc-ee style. Nor are they actual nuggets made of beaver as some have thought. Nope. These are addicting, corn puffs covered in sweet caramel and sugar. They are kind of like eating waffles, but not.
If you buy them on your visit to Buc-ee’s, make sure you buy at least 5, plus some for friends. They’re 13 ounces of heaven and the best way to bribe your kids to stop asking, “Are we there yet?” during the rest of your road trip.
If you want a mug, magnet, or map that has something to do with a Beaver or Texas on it, then you’ll find it at Buc-ee’s. If you’re looking for a Buc-ee shirt (and you will be after visiting
this place), they have it. Mini Buc-ee key chain? Check. Stuffed Buc-ee? Check. You’ll also find soap, camping supplies, candles, household supplies, even good quality artwork. All at a convenience store. Seriously, you’ve got to visit this place.
Buc-ee’s is so Texan that it has its own brand of barbecue called Texas Round-Up. When you walk through the store, the smell of brisket, pulled pork, sausage, turkey and pastrami will draw you towards the center of the store. This is where the magic of Buc-ee’s barbecue happens. You can actually see it happen through the open kitchen. When you visit this heaven on earth, you can be sure that you won’t be forced to eat a day old hot dog or nasty burrito like your typical gas station. Here- all the food is so fresh.
Buc-ee’s has more than Beaver Nuggets and Barbecue. As you walk through the store, you’ll see endless aisles of snacks and treats that are perfect for road trips, camping trips, or just your guilty pleasure. Just like those stinkin’ Beaver Nuggets (they get me every time). Here’s a small list of the endless options of food you’ll find at Buc-ee’s:
- Fresh Jerky, with flavors
- Fresh Potato Chips
- Trail Mix
- Freshly made fudge
- Breakfast tacos
- Wine (no joke. Complete with pairings too)
Buc-ee’s isn’t shy about how much they pay their employees. It’s pretty common these days for stores to advertise wages, but rarely have I seen the salaries of an assistant manager and team lead position posted. Buc-ee’s has signs that show these wages at all their locations. They also show the benefits for their employees – 3 weeks PTO and 401K. I think that’s pretty awesome of a company to do, and it’s enticing for future employees. Good strategy there, Buc-ee’s.
This may sound like a weird topic to bring up when talking about gas stations. Most gas station bathrooms are disgusting, right? However, Buc-ee’s isn’t your average gas station. I’m sure you’re finding that out. In fact, the bathrooms at the New Braunfels Buc-ee’s location won the award in 2012 for having the cleanest bathrooms. There are 83 toilets to inspect at this location, so to win that contest is a BIG deal. These bathrooms are seriously world famous for being clean.
I’m always looking for a good deal, whether it be for iced coffee, toys, or in this case, gasoline. Buc-ee’s doesn’t fail in this arena either. Every time I’ve gone there for gas they’ve almost always been the same price or even cheaper than most other places around town. Since I have to find a fuel stall and make my way to the door and throughout the store, getting gas at this fine establishment lets me get good cardio in-before inhaling a bag of Beaver Nuggets.
Yeah, they also have fast food. They don’t have a drive-thru, but they have fast food in the sense that you walk up to a kiosk and place your order on the touch screen. If you’re anything like me, it might take a while to decide what you want to eat from all the options. Fajitas, Reubens, you know, your regular everyday convenience store foods. You’ll receive a printed receipt, wait for your number to be called, and ta-da, your food is ready. Just don’t forget to pay for it on your way out.
There you have it. Now you know the answer to the question, “What is Buc-ee’s?” I could tell you even more about this one of a kind business, but I’ll let you discover it on your own. I’m sure now that you’re done reading this, you’re just itching to pack up your kids and go on a field trip to the nearest Buc-ee’s. If you’re not near a Buc-ee’s, plan your next vacation around one. It’s pretty worth it. The ocean and Disneyland are more worth it, but Buc-ee’s comes in as a close third. Trust me.