Georgia-based Stuckey’s brings candy making, pecan processing in-house

Atlanta-based Stuckey’s, the kitschy roadside retailer known for its pecan log rolls, bought a Georgia manufacturing plant with plans to move some of the chain’s candy-making and pecan processing in-house for the first time in decades.

Stephanie Stuckey, whose grandfather launched the business in the 1930s, said Tuesday that the acquisition of Atwell Pecan Company and two related businesses will give the chain flexibility to expand its offerings and put its products in more outlets, such as groceries and other big chains. The parties are keeping the price private.

The plant in Wrens, about 30 miles southwest of Augusta, employs about 100 people year round. Stuckey said the operation, which includes a shelling facility, will make log rolls, pralines, divinity, fudge, cheese straws and an expanded line of flavored pecans for Stuckey’s and others.

“We are about to play heavily in the pecan space,” she said.

The chain had more than 350 locations in the past dotting rural interstates in the Southeast and elsewhere. It has about 67 franchise retail locations now, most of them sections within other stores. Two more locations are expected to open soon in Hayden, Alabama, and Sallisaw, Oklahoma.

The family sold the business years ago, then reacquired it. Stuckey became chief executive officer in 2019. Last year she completed a merger with Georgia-based Front Porch Pecans. The leader of that snack products business, Robert “RG” Lamar Jr., became president of the combined operation. He and Stuckey are 50/50 co-owners.