History

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A humble beginning. A grand ambition to treat every customer like royalty.

Frankly, Stuckey's owes its beginning to a bumper crop of pecans.

Shown here in 1962 at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the original Eastman, Georgia site, Williamson S. Stuckey, Sr. proudly stands next to a reconstruction of the pecan stand he built in 1937. In the early 1930's in Eastman, Georgia, Williamson S. Stuckey, Sr. had such a successful pecan harvest from his family's orchard that he offered a portion of his bounty for sale in a lean-to roadside shed. Florida-bound tourists traveling the two-lane Georgia 23 blacktop snapped up the flavorful pecans instantly, as gifts for friends and family and as succulent souvenirs of the agricultural south.

As the business continued to flourish, Mrs. Stuckey took to her kitchen and created a variety of homemade pecan candies. The rest, of course, is history.

In 1937, a new building went up in which candy became king. The crowning glory in a profusion of nut-based confections was the now-famous Pecan Log Roll in a size for every appetite and every budget. Restaurant service was added, other fancy foods were stocked, and a souvenir section was installed to cover every whim from rubber snakes to sea-shell ashtrays. Gasoline pumps were a logical addition - all of it tied together with the signature teal blue roof. Stuckey's had come to life, and a new era of roadside travel service was born.

After a temporary cutback due to sugar rationing during World War II, business boomed again and franchises sold by the score. Mrs. Stuckey's kitchen stove gave way to a state-of-the-art candy plant to supply an eventual 350-plus Stuckey's stores located throughout the continental United States.

Paralleling the birth and growth of the Stuckey's empire, young Williamson S. "Bill" Stuckey, Jr. was growing up in the business — both learning it and loving it — as a precursor to law school and a distinguished political career in Washington, D.C.

A happy revival of an American tradition.

Standing behind the counter, Mr. Willis Paulk, a Stuckey's employee for more than 25 years, always served customers with a smile. In 1967, in the midst of what was to become W.S. Stuckey, Jr.'s five-term Congressional career, the Stuckey family merged operations with Pet Milk, Inc. While the transaction was the correct "business" decision, changes in management and corporate philosophy at Pet placed a diminished importance on the Stuckey's operations. Supervision and leadership became more distant and less personal.

Then in 1977, the senior Mr. Stuckey died and in the absence of his personal influence, our company suffered still more setbacks. In the early 80's, however, following the end of his fifth term in Washington, former Congressman W.S. Stuckey, Jr. decided that he simply could not accept the demise of his family name from the American Landscape.

Determined to recapture the Stuckey's name and revive the great American tradition, he set up a command post in his adopted home of Washington, D.C. and in 1985, W.S. Stuckey, Jr. and his partners succeeded in repurchasing Stuckey's.

Today, the legendary Stuckey's name is dramatically expanding its roadside presence with the successful strategy of a "store within a store" concept by placing Stuckey's old fashioned southern pecan candy, nuts and souvenirs inside travel plazas and convenience stores along America's highways. With more than 200 stores in 19 states, from Pennsylvania to Florida and as far west as Arizona, there is no doubt that Stuckey's and the traditions that made us great are back!

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