When we recently read about Georgia adopting the pecan as the Official State Nut, we couldn’t help but think back to how Stuckey’s — and the pecan — began. Sure, W.S. Stuckey got his business started by selling pecans out of a shack on the side of a Georgia highway. But it was wife Ethel who took the pecan, and the company, to the next level with her delicious treats. Here’s the story:

First you have to understand that both W.S. and Ethel were never the “put all of your eggs in one basket” kind of people, and both often worked several different jobs at a time. After they were married on December 24, 1931, Stuckey was selling cross ties — those wooden beams that lay under railroad tracks to support it. At the same time, Ethel worked as a secretary for two county school superintendents and also owned a beauty shop in downtown Eastman. In fact, it wouldn’t be until their second year of marriage in 1933 that Stuckey would get into the business of buying and selling pecans — a move that would eventually lead to him constructing that little lean-to pecan shack.

W.S. Stuckey, Sr., outside his pecan shack.
Photo Credit: Stuckey’s Corp.

Maybe that little shack would have been enough for most people, but not for W.S. He saw potential in those sacks of pecans. One day while sitting in his shack, Stuckey got an idea – he ran back to his house and persuaded Ethel to start making pecan pralines, even though she never made candy a day in her life. Nevertheless, she gave it her best, and the pecan treats became a hit. 

Pecan divinity and other pecan candies would soon follow, until one fateful day that would change the Stuckey’s lives forever. You see, Ethel had found an old family recipe on how to make a Pecan Log Roll, and she decided to try it out. First, she made creamy nougat, adding just a hint of maraschino cherries to it. Afterwards, she coated it in a soft, buttery caramel and rolled it around in a plentiful amount of pecans, coating it to perfection. The Pecan Log Roll would end up outselling everything in the shack and the rest is Stuckey’s roadside history.

Photo Credit: Stuckey’s Corp.

The Stuckey’s would go on to build their first namesake store right there in Eastman — and eventually an empire of roadside stops with Stuckey’s locations all along the highways of America. Indeed, Ethel Stuckey deserves much praise. Without her, perhaps we would be writing a blog about railroad cross ties. 

That is why this Mother’s Day, we celebrate both the matriarch of Stuckey’s by offering one of the best Mother’s Day gifts ever — the Stuckey’s “Mama’s Day” Gift Box that includes all the pecan goodness Mom loves:

3 – 2 oz. Pecan Log Roll,

1 – 8 oz. Caramel Popcorn,

1 6 oz. Pecan Log Roll,

1-8 oz. Pecan Divinity Tub,

1 – 9 oz. Pecan Halves,

1 – 4 oz. T&S Pecans,

1 – Candy Shop Coffee Mug,

1 Recipe Card

Get one for Mama, Grandma, your wife … and even your mother-in-law!

And remember, if your Mama lives on the East Coast, you have to get your order in no later than May 3. West Coast orders will arrive late, just FYI. Make Mama proud. Order your Stuckey’s Mama’s Day Gift Box today from stuckeys.com!

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!