Here's What's Next for Buc-ee's

Is the cherished convenience store expanding?

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If you're a Texan, or spent any part of your life living in Texas, chances are you're familiar with Buc-ee's, the gas station and convenience store chain, founded by Arch "Beaver" Aplin III in Lake Jackson, Texas in 1982.

Familiar, in fact, is probably an understatement, given the love visitors to the store tend to have for it that stretches far beyond what one would expect for an elevated gas station and rest stop.

"Buc-ee's has a reputation far greater than its store count [of 34]. It has become the rare brand—like Apple and Costco—that inspires loyalty that goes well beyond rational consumer calculations. People love Buc-ee's, and they like to talk about how much they love Buc-ee's," writes Eric Benson in a recent profile of Beaver Aplin in Texas Monthly. In fact, as Benson points out, 10,000 people shopped at Buc-ee's on its opening day in New Braunfels in 2012.

Earlier this year, Buc-ee's opened its first outpost in another state in Robertsdale, Alabama. Is Buc-ee's now poised for rapid expansion? In Benson's feature, the author notes Aplin's office has a map with a large array of thumbtacks going east to North Carolina and South all the way to Florida. In recent years, Buc-ee's has purchased land throughout the Southeast, with three Florida stores slated to start construction soon.

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Of course, it is yet to be seen if non-Texans will become Buc-ee's enthusiasts in the way Lone Star State residents adore the friendly beaver. We guess only time and Buc-ee's Famous Beaver Nuggets' sales will tell.

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