Area fans of Buc-ee’s, a convenience store and fueling center chain with a devoted following, may soon have a much shorter distance to drive.
Plans submitted to the city of Huber Heights show a 74,000-square-foot Buc-ee’s on a 52-acre site at the northeast corner of the Interstate 70/Ohio 235 interchange, according to an Aug. 9 memorandum from Interim City Planner Aaron Sorrell to Huber Heights Planning Commission.
Huber Heights Mayor Jeff Gore took to Facebook to celebrate the news.
“Yes, this is in Huber Heights, not New Carlisle or Park Layne,” Gore said in the post. “Representatives from Buc-ee’s will be at the planning commission meeting on Tuesday August 15th. You won’t have to drive to Kentucky now to get your beef jerky and brisket sandwiches. Welcome to Huber Heights Buc-cee’s. We’re ... happy to have you.”
The property is on the Montgomery County-Clark County line. Plans for the site show it will include 120 gas pumps and more than 700 parking spaces.
Buc-ee’s, which opened its first location in Texas in 1982, is known for its selection of sandwiches, snacks, drinks, eclectic themed T-shirts and knick-knacks.
Mayor Gore said Thursday the support of city council has been instrumental in laying the groundwork for the potential development of the Buc-ee’s in the particular location it’s being proposed.
“I want to thank the members of city council who voted to approve our sewer and water infrastructure extensions from CenterPoint 70 Boulevard down to the rest of that area,” Gore said. “Without us having the vision for growth in that area and approving that extension, I don’t know if this ever would have happened.”
Huber Heights City Council approved a resolution in July 2022 to extend its water main infrastructure east, and a resolution to do the same with its sewer infrastructure in April of this year.
Sorrell said representatives of Buc-ee’s will attend an “informal review” during the Tuesday, Aug. 15 planning commission meeting, at which time the company will receive feedback from commission members.
The company will likely submit a full application by Aug. 25, Sorrell said.
“I gave them extra time so they can make any adjustments based on feedback they receive Tuesday from the Planning Commission,” Sorrell said via email Thursday.
As for why Buc-ee’s, a company with a dedicated customer base, would consider Huber Heights for its entrance into the Ohio market, Gore said it makes perfect sense.
“The way I look at it, why wouldn’t Buc-ee’s want to be here?” Gore said, highlighting its location east of the busy Interstate 70 and Interstate 75 exchange. “(The location has) everything that a business would need.”
One area resident and Texas transplant could hardly contain her elation when she first heard the news that her favorite convenience store from the south may be making its way to her new state.
“(I thought), ‘Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus,’” said Gwen Hilliard, with audible excitement.
Hilliard, a native of Nebraska and former 25-year resident of Texas, moved to Miamisburg two years ago. Every road trip back home includes at least one stop at Buc-ee’s, Hilliard said.
“Think of it like Cracker Barrel on steroids,” she said.
Hilliard said the size of the store itself is matched by the quality of the company’s customer service.
“The employees are the bomb-dot-com,” she said. “When you go inside, they’re like, ‘Welcome to Buc-ee’s!’ And you can’t help but smile ... there’s not really any grumpy people in Buc-ee’s.”
Hilliard said she’s particularly fond of the store’s apparel line, most of which is emblemed with the brand’s recognizable Buc-ee logo.
“The clothes are awesome,” she said. “Most shirts are like $15 and they’re really good quality.”
Huber Heights resident Leslie Edens is also looking forward to having a Buc-ee’s close to home.
“My partner is from Texas, and when we visited his family I experienced Buc-ee’s for the first time. I’ve traveled all over the US thanks to the military, and no rest stop/gas station ever left an impression on me like Buc-ee’s did,” she said.
One of Edens’ favorite Buc-ee’s items, which like many of the other offerings are a bit unique to find in a gas station, are the spices.
“I actually have (my partner’s) mother mail us their spices when we run out,” she said. “Now that we’re getting one, I can get them myself! It will be a nice comfort for my Texan partner as well, as he misses home.”
Don Helbig, of Fairfield, said nobody is more excited than he is to hear the news of the Huber Heights location.
“It’s like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving all rolled into one,” said Helbig, who owns “four or five” Buc-ee’s Hawaiian shirts. “It’s the perfect location in Ohio for a Buc-ee’s. I’ll be there a lot after it opens.”
Helbig, who visited Buc-ee’s in Richmond, Ky. last week plans to return there for breakfast next week on his way to Tennessee, then lunch at the Sevierville, Tenn. Bucee’s location. He said he aims to dine at both locations on the way back to Ohio a few days later.
Helbig said he discovered Buc-ee’s during the start of the pandemic just as people were able to get out and start doing things again.
“I was just blown away the first time I went into Buc-ee’s by how massive it was and the ... 120 gas pumps,” he said. “You don’t think about a gas station having great food, but they do.”
Buc-ee’s plans to open at least five new locations between now and 2025, including Springfield, Miss.; Johnstown, Colo.; Hillsboro, Texas; and Smiths Grove, Ky. in 2024 and Boerne, Texas in 2025, according to the company’s website.