By Natalie Simms
The widely popular Texas convenience store chain Buc-ee’s will be coming Georgia in 2021 with a new location planned for Calhoun as well as Warner Robins. With more than 53,000 square feet of retail space, the company identifying itself as the “world’s largest convenience store” is just the latest in a surge of high-end convenience stores opening in Northwest Georgia.
“We are building in Calhoun. We do not yet have a start date for construction, which takes about 12 to 14 months to build,” says Jeff Nadalo, a spokesman for Buc-ee’s.
The Calhoun City Council recently signed off on a rezoning request from the chain to build at 250 Johnson Lake Road, just off I-75 in Gordon County. Buc-ee’s currently has 38 locations with 37 in Texas and one in Alabama.
Nadalo says the Calhoun store will be more than 53,000 square feet and have more than 100 fueling positions and employee some 200 people.
“Our stores have great food including barbecue, homemade fudge, kolaches, Beaver nuggets, jerky and fresh pastries,” he says. “In addition, Buc-ee’s stores feature a large selection of clothing and home decor items.”
Another point of pride for Buc-ee’s is its status of having the “cleanest bathrooms.”
“We take pride in making sure that our restrooms are maintained at the highest standards, which we ensure by having a dedicated restroom staff,” says Nadalo.
Buc-ee’s has a location in Daytona Beach, Fla., under construction. Nadalo says the company is “focusing our growth on the central and southern United States.”
“We believe that Georgia is a natural fit for our expansion and we are scheduled to build stores in Warner Robbins and Calhoun. We selected Calhoun because we felt the traffic volume could support one of our large travel centers. The local and state government officials in Calhoun have been welcoming and helpful,” he says.
The chain has quite a following and lots of rave reviews on their Facebook page. After news broke earlier this month of the plans for stores in Georgia, local reaction was very positive on our Hometown Headlines Facebook page. Pepperell Elementary teacher Crissy Arrington just visited a Buc-ee’s location in Texas during a recent trip and is looking forward to the new store.
“When I started planning our trip to Texas, a friend told me, ‘Whatever you do, stop at Bucee’s.’ She didn’t tell me what it was, just that I had to go. When I got to Tomball, Texas, my friends there told me the same thing,” says Arrington.
“So on our way to Waco, we stopped at this huge place with 120 gas pumps. We walked in and smelled barbecue, saw fresh fruit, sandwiches, and more snacks than I have ever seen in one place. We didn’t even make it over to the other side of the store that had a general store-type feel to it.
“When we purchased our snacks and Bucee’s Beaver Nuggets to bring home, the manager stopped to talk to us. He opened a bag to let us try them and then told us about stores coming to Georgia! I can’t wait! I was excited to hear about the one coming to Warner Robbins and planned to take a road trip there…but in Calhoun! I’ll be riding up the road quite a bit now.”
Buc-ee’s is just the latest in high-end convenience stores expanding in Northwest Georgia. In early November, Love’s Travel Stop opened just off I-75/Union Grove interchange in Calhoun. It is the second Love’s in our area, the first being in Emerson (Bartow County).
RaceTrac stores have also been growing in the area. A store recently opened in Adairsville on Ga. 140 and a second Cartersville location opened July 30 at 1328 E. Main St. The Rome store on Martha Berry Highway opened in June 2018.
And let’s not forget about Cartersville’s Speedway store and café at Ga. 20 and U.S. 411 that opened in May. That store is open around the clock.