The Springfield Daily Citizen interviewed customers inside and outside of the Buc-ee’s store in Leeds, Alabama, as part of a series of stories on the potential new location in Springfield.

We collected the interviews separately here to share what customers had to say.

Michael and Dianne Hoelsher. (Photo by Steve Pokin)

Michael Hoelsher/ Austin, Texas

Hoelsher was on the road to Charlotte when he and his wife Dianne stopped.

He says he has owned three gas stations and that he appreciates how clean the restrooms are at Buc-ee’s.

“If you can’t keep your bathrooms clean, I bet your kitchen isn’t clean either,” he says. 

“If you got time to lean — then you got time to clean.”

Gary Morris

Gary Morris/ Talladega, Alabama   

“I come for the beef sandwich. I come to get the food and I like the jerky. If I am in this area, I am going to stop.”

Drew Cavanaugh/ Los Angeles

“Amazing!” he says of the bathrooms.

“It lived up to my expectations and more. It’s cleaner than the high-end casinos of Las Vegas.” 

He was shopping with his 7-year-old daughter. 

“I went to Bass Pro Shops, which is one of my favorite places to shop, and I did not spend a dime. I came over here and I spent $168.”

A Bass Pro store is across the street from the Buc-ee’s in Leeds.

Johnny Brewer/ Glencoe, Alabama and Diane Rogerson/ Gadsen, Alabama

Johnny Brewer and Diane Rogerson.

They live an hour away and drove to Buc-ee’s for lunch, which they ate while tailgating in the parking lot. It’s a pleasant, sunny day.

“It’s the variety, the choices,” he says. “They have such a choice of sandwiches.

“It’s easy to get in.  Easy to get out. No hold up getting our food. We were in and out in 10 minutes.

She adds: “They have the friendliest people that work here.” 

Sabrina Jenkins/ Leeds, Alabama

“They have the best brisket,” she says. “And a lot of other incentives like reading glasses and T-shirts. It’s like a department store housed inside a gas station.” 

Lisa Hetrick/ Dallas, Texas  

She lives 10 miles from a Buc-ee’s in Texas. 

“Buc-ee’s is amazing. It has everything you want. The brisket is great. The bathroom is always clean. It is a fun place to shop to find a gift.”

She and her mother-in-law were on their way to South Carolina.

“We want to use the restroom and we might get a snack.

“We passed up all the cheapest gas stations knowing Buc-ee’s would be cheaper — but not today.”  

Stefan Jackson

Stefan Jackson/ Knoxville, Tennessee

“I come here to grab lunch every single time. Gas is very fast. It’s very convenient. Quick. And the food is very good.” 

Laura Willis/ Memphis, Tennessee

She is an over-the-road driver and is well aware of Buc-ee’s but is not allowed to stop there while driving her big rig.

Buc-ee’s does not permit big rigs to park at its stores. The company describes itself as a “travel center” and not a “truck stop.”

On this day, Willis was in her own car, heading home to Memphis.

She was disappointed to hear Buc-ee’s was more interested in Springfield, Missouri than Memphis.

“It is a one-stop-shop. If you want to get an icy, and some camping gear, and some jerky at the same time — why not?”

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Springfield Daily Citizen. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin