Detailed Stuckey’s History
Here today, here tomorrow
If you’re of an age to remember tourist camps, Burma Shave signs, and two-lane blacktops – or even gas lines, Pintos, and crackling AM radio — chances are you remember the sprawling Stuckey’s empire: A venerable roadside oasis — and a highway heaven of souvenirs, cold drinks, hot snacks, and pecan candy — marked by the pitched roof and teal blue shingles.
Who could forget the pecan divinity, flavored pecans, and most of all the celebrated Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll, a heavenly inspired creation of Mrs. Ethel Stuckey herself? Based on a secret mix of powdered sugar, white molasses, and roasted nuts, that mouth-watering miracle of fluffy white sweetness covered in its own deep coating of crushed select pecans became the soul and spirit of the store and the number one reason for families to stop… well, along with using the restrooms, gassing up the car, and having a snack and a soft drink, of course.
Soon after our founding, however, Stuckey’s became more than a pecan log roller. From the late 30’s to the early 70’s, the teal blue roof was as famous then as the golden arches are today.
Sadly, in the late 70’s, the empire began to dwindle when Stuckey’s was purchased by a large corporation and became trapped in a time warp. Of the 350-plus locations operating in our heyday, the number dropped to a handful of stores. But that was then, and this is now.
Now, with a Stuckey back at the helm and over 115 franchised locations on the interstate highways spanning 17 states from Pennsylvania to Florida in the east and to Texas in the west, we’re bigger and better than ever.
Those who remember the Stuckey’s of yesterday will smile with approval on the Stuckey’s of today. It’s a sure bet that W.S. Stuckey, Sr. would, too.
History of Selected Products
Remember the delicious anticipation of the moment just before you took the first bite of your favorite Stuckey’s treat?
Thanks to Mrs. Ethel Stuckey, there’s no place better than Stuckey’s to satisfy your sweet tooth. In fact, since offering customers exactly what they want has always been a key to Stuckey’s success, Stuckey’s candies owe their beginnings to Mrs. Stuckey’s extraordinary perception of her customers’ needs.
Our customers, she suggested to her husband, would really enjoy the southern candy treats she’d always made. Why not add them to the varieties of pecans already available in the store?
Thankfully, Mr. Stuckey listened to the wisdom of his wife and, with the addition of flavored pecans, pecan divinity, pecan brittle and peanut brittle, and, of course, the Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll, an American tradition was born.
With the decision to offer customers old fashioned candy as well as pecans, life grew just a little more complicated for the Stuckey family. In the first true Stuckey’s in Eastman, Georgia, a small candy kitchen was added to the side of the main store to rapidly deliver fresh “southern made” candy.
Mrs. Stuckey and her sister, Mrs. Pearl Landers, worked non-stop throughout the day, creating enough fresh, fluffy pecan divinity to ensure that every customer left with exactly what was wanted.
Mrs. Stuckey and Mrs. Landers made all the Stuckey’s candy in this way until just before World War II. In fact, the method didn’t change until the first Stuckey’s candy plant was opened in Eastman in 1948.
While it’s not exactly known who created the very first pecan log roll, many would argue that it was Mrs. Stuckey who actually perfected it. The signature item within all Stuckey’s stores and the “must have” purchase during family travel stops from the 1950’s through today, the candy was first made in the candy kitchen attached to each store.
In eight Stuckey’s stores in the years after World War II, employees faithfully followed Mrs. Stuckey’s original southern recipe. The maraschino cherry-laced nougat was hand dipped in hot, creamy melted caramel, then before cooling, freshly shelled pecan halves would be liberally sprinkled onto the caramel. Each pecan log roll was hand wrapped and delivered straight to the customer.
As the Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll grew to its legendary popularity, demand outpaced production. Today, the Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll is offered in a vast array of sizes and still is based upon Mrs. Stuckey’s original recipe.
When W.S. Stuckey, Sr. decided to sell pecans at his roadside stand, he had no idea how successful and popular his products would eventually become. As his business grew beyond his wildest dreams, Mr. Stuckey decided to expand his pecan offering with flavored pecans.
In 1952, both the Toasted ‘n Salted and Sugar ‘n Spiced Pecans made their debut in vacuum sealed, church key cans. The innovative Mr. Stuckey embraced the idea of massive, off-shelf product displays with his flavored pecans, among the all-time favorite products of Stuckey’s fans. In a Stuckey’s store in the 1950’s, it wasn’t unusual to find 200 or more cans prominently displayed on a small round table in the traffic aisle of the sales floor.
Both of these pecan flavors were joined in the 1990’s by the Honey Roasted Pecans, the Dry Roasted Pecans, the Praline Pecans, and in the 21st century by the Lightly Salted Pecans. And though the packaging is different today, the unparalleled freshness and quality remain the same.