Member Reviews

I think my expectations for this book was that it would be more business based and less sentimental. I'm sure people who have memories of Stuckey's will enjoy the sentimental stuff, but I didn't have such memories and while the family side of family business is also its own subject, this just wasn't what I was looking for.
While it was good to hear how the author was able to turn the business around, the details of how that happened, beyond what was stated, would have been interesting.

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I must admit, and tell you, I have never heard of Stuckey’s, but the general description of the book intrigued me. Without any experience as a CEO, Stephanie Stuckey purchased Stuckey’s Corporation, which was originally founded by her grandfather (whom she called Big Daddy in the book). She told the story of how it got started as well as her climb to success. I enjoyed all of her stories.

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This is a very enjoyable read with a great personality in the form of Stephanie Stucky. The meat of the book is her story of the three year process of rebuying the family business and trying to put Stucky's back on track. But we also get a nice insight into how her grandfather started the brand during the Depression and managed to turn a pecan selling business into a roadside institution.

In her mid 50s, Stephanie never expected that there would be an opportunity to run the business - one that her grandfather had pretty much sold off in the 1970s. It was run into the ground with only a few stores remaining in the 40 odd years since then but there is a nice story here of all Stucky has had to do in order to begin to bring the brand back to life. I enjoyed her discussions of balancing the old ways of doing things with the new, the importance of employees, and really understanding what customers want from a roadside stop.

Yes, this is a promotion piece. There is a lot of 'rah rah' for the brand and its history. Stucky's was always either a store full of kitsch or tackiness along with some great candies. But with the resurgence of roadside rest stop stores such as Buc ees, there surely is a great opportunity here to see Stucky's lining the interstates across the US once again. Even better, to see a bit of Americana rise again in a new era.

In all, this is a quick and easy read that will leave you feeling a bit better about Americans, American businesses, and underdog stories. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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Stuckey's was founded in the early 1930 by Big Daddy,(her grandfather) and the author became the third generation to own the company with a partner. There is so much interesting information that covers Stephanie, the highs and lows of running a family started business.
Big Daddy was always thinking ahead to get people to stop at a Stuckey's along their road trip. Gasoline was offered, clean bathrooms, pecan logrolls, chocolate covered pecans and of course lots of toys and things to keep the children happy as they drove.
Her honest opinions, photographs and her well written words made this such a delightful book.

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Fascinating And *Southern* Tale Of Near-Death Of Road trip Staple. Stephanie Stuckey has led a life few Georgians have. She is a scion of a family that had become somewhat rich and somewhat powerful over the last century, whose grandfather once proclaimed (per Stuckey, here in the text) that he had made more money than his grandchildren could ever spend (but which they did, again, per Stuckey here), whose father had been a Congressman and who herself had been a State Representative for nearly 15 years. Both she and her father are UGA alumni, both from well before the era where the HOPE scholarship made such an achievement much more doable for many Georgians.

All of this is included here, but really, this is the tale of the ascent to those heights... and the downfall from them, as changes mostly made by others - as well as a few mistakes made within the company - led to near non-existence of the family company, fortune, and even legacy.

Herein lies a quintessential Southern tale of Southern family and business acumen, of a legacy built, nearly destroyed, and of one woman's fight to restore that legacy to all that it had once been... and maybe, just maybe... even increase it for her own children.

The story is told with all of the grace, grit, and wonder of a granddaughter who clearly grew up living at least some of the history involved, but only much later in life finding out all that she *didn't* know, including just how fundamental the black community was to her (white) grandfather's success in the era of Jim Crow, and how mutually beneficial and respectful the relationships there were. Up to and including Civil Rights activists actively encouraging their people to stop at Stuckey's, knowing that they would be treated with the respect they didn't always get in the South in that era.

As someone who has also uncovered lost family history later in life - and who has lived in some of the regions this tale centers around, as well as, yes, having sampled quite a few of the family's candies-, this was a story I could connect with on several levels, even as my own family was... let's go with "not quite so fortunate" over the years, to the point that when I graduated from Kennesaw State University near the turn of this Millennium, I was the first in my family to have graduated college at all.

Overall truly a triumphant and hopeful tale, well told with the respect, humor, and candor one doesn't always get in such deeply personal tales fraught with such sensitive topics as race relations in the South. Very much recommended.

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Stuckey's was a staple for our family road trips in the 70s. I can't even express how much we loved the stops (it was the ONLY time we could convince my Dad to stop.)
Stephanie Stuckey decided that the company and the brand was worth the effort, money and heart it would take to remake an American icon.
Not only was this book well written, but we get wisdom from the generation before her, and business ideas that would help any business,
Despite hurdles, COVID setbacks, and being up against multiple obstacles, Stephanie kept moving forward. I loved this book.
Thank you to BenBella Books, the author, and NetGalley for a digital ARC of this title in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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