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Buc-ee’s is an iconic brand that was born in Texas. These massive fuel centers are more than gas stations. They are retail stores, grocery stores, and fast food restaurants. One knock-off Buc-ee’s in Mexico is making headlines, but the “true” Buc-ee’s is having nothing of it.
Let’s dive in and look closer at this developing story and the legal battle between this supermercado and the proud Texas company.
What Is Buc-ee’s?
You can’t road trip through Texas and not stop at a Buc-ee’s. And now that locations have spread across the southeast, you can enjoy this famous mercantile center closer to home.
In 1982, Arch Aplin III bought an empty lot in Lake Jackson, Texas, and opened a 3,000-square-foot store. The famous beaver mascot was inspired by Aplin’s longtime nickname, Beaver, and the store’s name was a nod to his lovable lab, Buck.
Today, Buc-ee’s locations welcome weary travelers as well as locals. They’re not truck stops; in fact, trucks aren’t allowed in the parking lots. Instead, Buc-ee’s stores are designed to serve passersby looking for a delicious meal, souvenir, or snacks for the road.
In addition to dozens of fuel pumps, you’ll find housewares, t-shirts, brisket sandwiches, jerky, toys, and more inside.
What Is Buc-ee’s Known For?
Buc-ee’s is like the Disney World of convenience stores. These locations are known for their homemade fudge, kolaches, jerky, and iconic beaver nuggets. The grab-and-go station has freshly made brisket, pulled pork, and fried chicken sandwiches.
But you can also order specially made sandwiches via a touchscreen. The bakery is always full of delicious sweet treats, and the wall of jerky has flavors from teriyaki to lemon pepper to cherry maple.
In the retail part of the store, visitors loved browsing the vast selection of decorative and practical items like backyard grills, dishes, wall art, wooden signs, coffee mugs, drinking glasses, pet supplies, and more. If you prefer to avoid crowds, Buc-ee’s isn’t the place for you. These locations are always packed, but the employees serve you quickly to help you get back on the road.
Finally, Buc-ee’s is well known for its clean restrooms. This may sound insignificant, but it’s crucial to travelers. Walking into a bathroom and not seeing toilet paper all over the floor or nasty toilets is a welcome experience.
In 2012, Cintas ran a nationwide restroom contest and made Buc-ee’s the official store with the cleanest bathrooms in America.
How Many Buc-ee’s Locations Are There?
The 58th Buc-ee’s location opened in Auburn, Alabama, in April 2023. However, new sites are popping up across Missouri, Texas, Colorado, Kentucky, and more states for 2024. Besides Alabama, other states with Buc-ee’s include Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Texas. There are over 30 stores in Texas alone.
Where Is the Knock-Off Buc-ee’s Located?
Someone in Mexico has used this famous brand to his advantage. Called “Buk-II’s,” this knock-off store has a gopher painted on the exterior instead of the iconic beaver. The supermercado is located in Matamoros Tamaulipas, about 10 minutes south of the Los Indios Texas International Bridge.
A photo announcing the grand opening was posted to Facebook on July 24. Immediately, it garnered attention from Buc-ee’s fans, who weren’t happy with the similarities. The posting also received the attention of Buc-ee’s representatives.
Keep in Mind: Not sure what foods to try while at Buc-ee’s? Here are some of the foods RVers swear by.
What Was Buc-ee’s Response To the Facebook Posting?
Ramon Montelongo posted the announcement, probably assuming it would gain positive attention and be free advertising for the store. However, it backfired.
Buc-ee’s representatives reminded the public that the brand has cultivated its award-winning services over decades. They won’t allow someone to use Buc-ee’s intellectual property and fame for his own achievements.
Has Buc-ee’s Taken Legal Action Before?
As a result, Buc-ee’s is seeking legal action against the store owner. However, this isn’t the first time Buc-ee’s has been involved in such matters. With a brand name as big as Buc-ee’s, it’s bound to initiate lawsuits to protect its reputation.
In 2018, Buc-ee’s sued San Antonio’s Choke Canyon rest stop chain for its cartoon alligator logo on a yellow circle, which is very similar to the Buc-ee’s iconic beaver logo on a yellow circle. Buc-ee’s has also filed lawsuits against Chick’s, a convenience store in Bryan, Texas, and B&B Grocery, a general store in Uvalde County.
Read More: Buc-ee’s has been involved in many lawsuits, but they’ve also been sued themselves! You’ll be surprised to hear why.
What Will Happen To the Off-Brand Buc-ee’s Now?
The latest news coming out of Mexico is that the supermercado now has a new logo without the yellow circle and red hat. It’s a chipmunk with a mullet.
However, the “Buk-II’s” name is still brightly painted in red over the entry door. Is the threat of a lawsuit over? We don’t know. But if you’re entertaining the idea of opening your own off-brand Buc-ee’s store, we highly recommend thinking otherwise. The brand is earnest about protecting itself from people who want to use its fame for their own success.
If this knock-off Buc-ee’s store opens, would you visit it?