By Erica Thomas, managing editor
LEEDS — The new Buc-ee’s location in Leeds is prepared to open on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, at 6 a.m. The store is full of products and full of smiling faces.
The mood inside Buc-ee’s is joyful and enthusiastic employees say they have been patiently waiting to open. Every wall is lined with something different. Candy, jerky, and home decor are available inside the store. There are also pet products and baby items for sale.
General Manager Michael Bui said the store is ready to serve the city of Leeds and the surrounding areas.
“We’re excited,” said Bui. “We’re happy to be a part of the community of Leeds, Birmingham, north Alabama. Leeds has been fantastic to us so we’re ready to open our doors and show northern Alabama what we have.”
The premier travel center is known for its large selection of products for everything from food to hunting accessories.
“We have a lot of good food here,” Bui added. “We have BBQ sandwiches, breakfast-style tacos, we have 80 soda dispensers of all kinds of soda, 16 flavors of Icees, we have customizable coffee. If you can’t find it under our roof, it’s not worth having!”
There are also 22 flavors of fudge, made fresh daily and Buc-ee’s offers specialty items such as Beaver Nuggets and gourmet popsicles. Bui said he can already tell that people in Leeds will love the store.
“Every time I wear my Buc-ee’s shirt people ask me, ‘When are yall opening? When are yall opening?” he said. “We have a lot of people who have been to our southern Alabama location and love the store so, we’re glad to be here.”
Bui said the store will attract people from all over.
“When families are traveling the interstate, we will attract people all the way from Texas and the east coast,” Bui said. ‘We expect a lot of families, charter buses, RV’s. This is a one-stop-shop for people traveling.”
Among the many features at Buc-ee’s stores, the “World Famous Restrooms” have a full-time attendant.
On Friday, Jan. 22, the store held a special event honoring first responders. Leeds Police, Moody Police, Irondale Police St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and local fire departments were invited to enjoy freebies.
Bui said there will also be freebies and samples available when the store opens to the public Monday. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday.
The large chain, based in Texas, already has one Alabama location in south Alabama. The Leeds store has 120 gas pumps.