Stephanie Stuckey is on a mission to revive the Stuckey’s brand and experience for road trippers.
“It’s really important to understand what your brand is about and Stuckey’s is synonymous, or certainly was at our peak, with the American road trip and is very much in the DNA of our brand as much as our iconic product, the pecan log roll. We are about traveling the highway, taking some back roads, exploring America, pulling over and seeing what’s there. You can’t tell the story of Stuckey’s without telling the story of the road trip.”
“At our peak, we had 368 stores in 40 states, but [the company] went through a series of corporate hands. The brand frankly, was trashed. We ended up being owned by a Chicago railroad conglomerate that did not get our quirky roadside Americana brand, and we were in distress. My father got the company back, he righted a sinking ship, but then he retired about a decade ago and left only a handful of people running the company. We were six figures in debt when my dad’s former business partners approached me two years ago and asked if I wanted to buy the company. When I got the company, we do not own or operate any of our stores, and we rented warehouse full of dusty inventory that had not turned in years.”
“How often do you get a chance to rewrite your family’s business story? If you’ve lost your family business, it just almost never happens and I just couldn’t pass it up. So that began my journey. I do not have an MBA or previous business experience, and I had to figure things out but we’re making it. We’re now profitable. We closed out 2021 $2.4 million net and over $12 million gross in sales. We bought a candy plant, we bought a pecan shelling plant and we’re making our product again ourselves. We’re catering mostly to c-stores. So that really is the heart of our business: people who road trip and that’s c-stores.”
“…That’s how we’re growing the brand. That doesn’t mean we’re not about the story of the road trip, but how we’re really driving the future of this company is selling our product. And we want to sell our product in the c-store channel because those are our people.”
About our Guest
Stephanie Stuckey, CEO, Stuckey’s Corp
Stuckey’s is a roadside chain and family-owned business headquartered in Eastman, Georgia, that has proudly sold pecan log rolls and rubber alligators to highway travelers since 1937. Prior to taking over the company a few years ago, Stephanie served 14 years in the Georgia General Assembly House of Representatives.