Texas-based Buc-ee’s looks to put travel center in Smiths Grove

A Texas-based convenience store chain known for its giant-sized travel centers and iconic beaver mascot may soon be expanding into Warren County.

Buc-ee’s, headquartered in Lake Jackson, Texas, has purchased nearly 30 acres near the Interstate 65 Smiths Grove interchange as part of the chain’s expansion strategy.

Founded in 1982 and at first limited to Texas locations, Buc-ee’s started a multi-state expansion in 2019 that included an April 13 groundbreaking for its first Kentucky location in Richmond.

The Richmond Buc-ee’s will occupy more than 53,300 square feet and offer about 120 gasoline fueling stations, a news release said.

Like other Buc-ee’s locations, the Richmond store is expected to offer Texas barbecue, homemade fudge, kolaches, jerky and fresh pastries.

It will also offer merchandise branded with the Buc-ee Beaver logo, including its signature Beaver Nuggets, a sweet corn puff snack akin to caramel corn.

While the Richmond store will be large, it won’t be the largest Buc-ee’s.

The company’s website said the New Braunfels, Texas, location is the largest convenience store in the world at 68,000 square feet. By comparison, the average size of a Walmart Supercenter is 179,000 square feet.

True to its Texas roots, Buc-ee’s is known for building big stores with plenty of fuel pumps and parking spots.

With a site of nearly 30 acres, the Warren County location will have room for a large store, but plans for this location are preliminary.

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