Success and Scandal: The History of Buc-ee’s
With its major success and a cult following, Buc-ee's has easily become Texas’ favorite gas station. However, it wasn’t always that way.
After seeing a video posted by TikToker Zack D Films explaining not only the history and success of the gas station but also some of its scandals, I took a deeper look into the background of Buc-ee's.
The Beginning of the Beaver
Buc-ee's started out as any old gas station near Houston, Texas in the 80s, and has since become the largest gas station in the world. The name Buc-ee's, along with the beaver logo, came from owner Arch Aplin and his own nickname, which was 'Beaver.'
Aplin proudly ran with the nickname, making it into the massive brand we know and love today.
The gas station eventually spread across Houston with several locations before expanding in 2003. That year the brand went from your typical small gas station and morphed into what we are familiar with today just outside of San Antonio, Texas. This location was much larger, and they also started selling branded merch and food in the store.
From there, the brand continued to grow with several other locations opening up around Texas before expanding to other states.
Buc-ee's spread into other states, which leads us to one of their scandals: a lawsuit against their first store opened outside of Texas, in Alabama.
Backlash and Lawsuits
The store was sued because its gas prices were too low. According to a law, gas stations cannot sell their fuel for less than they paid for it. This was put in place to avoid giant retailers, like Buc-ee's, from monopolizing the market.
Alabama wasn’t the only hurdle Buc-ee's had when opening locations in new places. When the company announced it would be opening a Denton, Texas location, the locals were not happy about it. They wanted the gas station to be placed further out of town, but Buc-ee's refused. Due to the need for hundreds of staff members, it wouldn’t be feasible for them to open in a rural location.
Aplin also saw pushback in 2014 after his support for the Texas Republican party was made very public.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick proudly spoke about the support he received from the owner of Buc-ee's after his primary election win. This, plus the $1,025,000 that was given to Governor Greg Abbott, was enough to lead some in Texas to boycott the brand, stating they would no longer support Buc-ee's.
Buc-ee's Logo Drama
The next scandal we'll take a look at is how quick Buc-ee's is to sue anyone that has a logo even mildly similar to theirs.
When you first think about it, you wouldn’t expect it to be a scandal because the company is just protecting its brand. That would make sense if Buc-ee's only sued brands with a similar-looking beaver, but that’s not the case. The company has won lawsuits against logos that, in my opinion, look nothing like the Buc-ee’s logo.
Lastly, Buc-ee's is known for the fact that they don’t allow parking for 18-wheelers. This has upset many truckers, as they believe such a large gas station should cater to and provide parking for those in the trucking industry. Buc-ee's specifically made this rule because they didn’t want to be a truck stop; they just wanted to be a gas station.
All things considered, people still love Buc-ee's. It's an incredibly successful chain with a cult following, and honestly, I understand the hype. There isn’t anything else quite like Buc-ee's and it will always hold a special place in many Texans' hearts.