Whatever you need during a road trip just leave it to Beaver to provide it. A beaver is the well-known logo for Buc-ee's stores. They have been around 31 years.
You hear the saying, 'Build it and they will come.' Well, we just were waiting to see if they will come, said Arch Hartwell Aplin who everyone calls Beaver.
The name inspired the store's logo. Aplin said his mother gave him the nickname before he was born.
The name Buc-ee's was inspired by Aplin's beloved pet Labrador named Buck.
There are 30 Buc-ee's stores, all exclusively in Texas. Asked if he would ever expand nationally, Aplin said Texas is big enough.
The larger stores are called travel centers. The company employs 1,700 people. All seem to be quite happy.
I love it and it pays good, said one clerk said who has worked at a store for 10 years.
Aplin said his company typically pays clerks $11.50/hr to start compared to about $8.50/hr paid by his competitors.
Aplin started Buc-ee's when was fresh out of Texas A&M University and only 22.
After college he worked in a hometown bank in Lake Jackson. The president knew him, liked him, and more importantly trusted his vision for a new kind of store.
He loaned Aplin $225,000 to build it. The store still operates in Lake Jackson.
Aplin also knew a guy named Don Wasek who owned a convenience store and gave him tons of valuable advice to get started. The two have been business partners ever since.
The concept has always been simple; plenty of bright clean restrooms.
It seems to be the thing that's talked about most, Aplin said.
The stores are also known for their signature snacks, cheap ice and wide variety of beverages.
So what's next for Aplin who is a busy Beaver?
Stay focused. Build more Buc-ee's, Aplin said.
The newest travel center opens Monday on Highway 290 in Waller.