Company behind beloved pecan log rolls expanding Georgia HQ

Stuckey’s said the expansion will create 60 jobs and invest more than $5 million in Jefferson County

A family-owned rural Georgia business famous for its nostalgic pecan candies, kitschy souvenirs and retro aesthetic is expanding its headquarters and will hire dozens of new employees.

Stuckey’s announced Thursday it will invest more than $5 million to expand its Wrens facility in Jefferson County, roughly a 40-minute drive southwest of Augusta. The company, known for blue-roofed convenience stores that carried its signature red-and-yellow-packaged pecan log rolls, acquired the location last year as part of a revitalization campaign, which included bringing candy-making and production back in-house.

Stephanie Stuckey, the company’s CEO and co-owner, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the company will grow from 90 employees to 150. She said Stuckey’s has to grow to meet a spike in demand.

“We are absolutely slammed with orders,” she said. “We have a pipeline (of orders) that is full for the next year, and we’re now starting into 2024 with our planning. That’s how backlogged we are with orders. ... We can plateau or we can grow, and we choose growth.”

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From humble origins as an Eastman roadside pecan stand in 1937, Stuckey’s grew into a road trip staple with hundreds of gas and convenience stores across the country. However, the company’s brand slowly diminished after it was bought by a large corporation in the 1960s. W.S. “Sylvester” Stuckey, Sr., the company’s founder and Stephanie Stuckey’s grandfather, died in 1977, and by the end of that year, only 75 Stuckey’s locations remained.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Stephanie Stuckey, a former Georgia lawmaker and environmental attorney, took over the company in 2019 to reestablish the brand. Stuckey’s merged with Front Porch Pecan in 2020 and acquired Atwell Pecans in Jefferson County to create its new headquarters and pecan processing facility. There are currently more than 60 convenience stores throughout the Southeast and Midwest.

She told the AJC that her grandfather’s original pecan shed — which was forgotten and gathering dust for decades — was recently rediscovered and will be refurbished and placed at the Wrens factory as a tourist attraction.

“I found out recently that the original shed is in a vacant lot behind my grandfather’s old candy plant in Eastman, and it’s been sitting there for over 50 years,” she said. “It’s pretty amazing it’s still standing.”

Stuckey added that they’re looking at opening tours of the candy factory and painting murals along the building’s walls to show the history of Georgia’s pecan industry. According to the Georgia Pecan Commission, Georgia produces about 100 million pounds each year — the most of any state the U.S.

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She said the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the local development authority did offer an incentive package as part of the job expansion, which will include workforce training through Georgia Quick Start. The value of the incentive package was not immediately available.

Construction is expected to begin in January, and the new employees will be hired by 2025.