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Stephanie Stuckey, CEO of Stuckey's - Making Your Business Profitable
Episode 342nd March 2021 • The CEO Sessions • Ben Fanning
00:00:00 01:06:33

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Stephanie Stuckey is CEO of Stuckey’s, the roadside oasis famous for its pecan log rolls. 

After five years of losses she was able to make business profitable.

The Company was founded by Stephanie’s grandfather, W.S. Stuckey, Sr. as a pecan stand in Eastman, Georgia in 1937 and grew into over 350 stores by the 1970’s. The company was sold in 1964 but is now back in family hands and poised for a comeback.

Billy Stuckey, son of the founder and former U.S. Congressman, reacquired Stuckey’s in 1985. 

Stephanie took over in November of 2019 and, under her leadership, Stuckey’s has purchased a healthy pecan snack company, undergone a rebranding, added three new franchised stores, expanded its B2B retail customer base, increased online sales 550% with a new website and will soon acquire a pecan processing and candy manufacturing plant.

Stephanie worked as a trial lawyer, was elected to seven terms as a state representative, ran an environmental nonprofit law firm that settled the largest Clean Water Act case in Georgia history, served as Director of Sustainability and Resilience for the City of Atlanta, and taught as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law.  

Stephanie’s achievements include being named one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine and a graduate of Leadership Atlanta. She is active in her community, a longstanding member of Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church, and serves on many nonprofit boards, including the National Sierra Club Foundation, EarthShare of Georgia, and her local zoning review board

Stephanie received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia. .

Stephanie's LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephaniestuckey/

Stuckey's Website: https://stuckeys.com/

WHAT YOU'LL DISCOVER IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Why Stephanie used her personal savings to take back over the family business.
  • The change she made so Stuckey’s became profitable after 5 years of losses.
  • What Stephanie learned after her first year as CEO.
  • The surprising story of how W.S. Stuckey determined where to establish Stuckey’s.
  • The critical role that Ethel Stuckey (her grandmother) and the African American community played in the success of Stuckey’s
  • Advice she would give her younger self.
  • How to take a smart risk.
  • The one trait she wishes she could instill in every employee.
  • How the catastrophic cost of turnover adds up.
  • The single routine that helps Stephanie handle the stress of being CEO.
  • The treasure Stephanie discovered in six boxes of her grandfather’s old files.
  • How Stephanie has reinvigorated the Stuckey’s brand and their profitability.
  • The economic hard times are when you double down on marketing.

HIGHLIGHTS:

What Stephanie made the business profitable after 5 years of no profit:

  • Doubled, tripled down on marketing the brand.
  • Made a tough analysis of the company finances to identify where are they making profits.
  • Invested more into branded merchandise.
  • They did a rebranding.

QUOTES:

“Economic hard times are when you double and triple down on marketing.”

“People are hungry for nostalgia and comfort.”

RESOURCES:

Assassination Vacation, Sarah Vowell https://www.amazon.com/Assassination-Vacation-Sarah-Vowell/dp/074326004X 

The Winning Game Plan: A Proven Leadership Playbook for Continuous Business Success, James Rootes https://www.amazon.com/Winning-Game-Plan-Leadership-Continuous-ebook/dp/B08MH9X5NT 

Good to Great, Jim Collins https://www.amazon.com/Good-Great-Some-Companies-Others/dp/0066620996 

MUSIC:

Road Trip Music!

Allman Brothers – Ramblin’ Man

REM 

Johnny Cash

Hank Williams, Sr