Skip to main content

PHOTO GALLERY: Fuel City's New Store Concept Makes Dreams Come True

The Wylie, Texas, convenience store features the company's flagship, award-winning street taco program.
Fuel City logo

NATIONAL REPORT — Fuel city is on a mission. Since 1995, the family-owned and -operated chain of eight convenience stores throughout Texas has aimed to create a fun place in which to have positive experiences with expansive offerings and services. Its slogan, "Where Dreams Come True," is a sort of whimsical embodiment of how the company hopes its business impacts people.

The company's newest store, which debuted in December, is the next iteration of Fuel City and ushers in a new concept that incorporates a more transitional take on the exterior architecture and interior, while maintaining the retailer's "Texas urban ranch" aesthetic.

To create a sense of hospitality and a welcoming environment, the new open, airy store design contrasts industrial exposed ceilings with residential finishes like wide-plank white shiplap. Throughout the signage and interior finishes, the design features retro pops of color and graphics to add the playful touches guests expect to find at a Fuel City store.

"This store is a convenient, clean and fun place to stop in for a quick visit or stay for a while and enjoy a meal with the family in either the indoor or outdoor dining rooms. Our indoor/outdoor patios have music and TVs, so you can cheer on your favorite sports team or catch the news any time of year," Fuel City CEO Joseph Bickham told Convenience Store News.

Right Place, Right Time

When it came to determining where to test this new Fuel City concept, the company landed on the city of Wylie, Texas, for a few reasons. First off, the city has been in "hyper growth mode" over the last decade driven by its strong school system and safe, friendly community. The timing was right to capture an expanding market that was underserved, Bickham pointed out.

Secondly, because Highway 78 acts as a commuter road for growing cities to the east, this area provides a great combination of rooftop density for the local base, travelers for growth and ease of access for destination visits.

Lastly, the city was equally as excited for Fuel City to become a part of the neighborhood as the c-store retailer was to plant roots there. Wylie viewed Fuel City as a good partner to attract people to the city, according to the chief executive.

"Wylie has been great to work with. Not every city embraces you, your concept and your vision. [Wylie] did early on and I give the city credit for being open to and appreciating our concept, and working with us to facilitate getting built and getting open," Bickham said.

Once Fuel City identified the right property in Wylie to build on, the project was completed in about 12 months and opened to the public on Dec. 30, 2022. Clocking in at 10,000 square feet, the c-store is located at 1800 N State Hwy 78 and situated on an 8-acre site.

[Read more: PHOTO GALLERY: Fuel City Puts Foodservice Front & Center]

Like other Fuel City locations, the Wylie store features the company's flagship, award-winning street taco program, which is offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Spanning all dayparts, the Fuel City Tacos menu boasts such varieties as the picadillo taco, the beef fajita taco, the chicken fajita taco, the barbacoa taco and the pastor taco. Customers can order burritos, bowls and quesadillas, too.

The store also showcases Fuel City's daquiri program, as well as a new growler bar concept displaying 20 local draft beer taps for either on-premise consumption or to take to go in a custom Fuel City branded growler or crowler can.

Other offerings available to satisfy cravings at any time of the day are:

  • A Little Caesars pizza restaurant serving freshly made hot pizzas ready to go;
  • Doughnuts made in-house daily and locally baked desserts;
  • Hand-cut seasonal fruit; and
  • Sandwiches and other hand-prepared convenience foods.

When it comes to amenities, there is indoor/outdoor seating, a total of 29 fueling positions, and a 24-hour drive-thru for food and beverages. An accompanying 6,000-square-foot car wash was expected to open in May.

And, as always, Fuel City enjoys partnering with local food and product suppliers to support the community and offer unique products. While local items account for a small percentage of the total number of products currently, it is a growing category for Fuel City, noted Bickham. The company is looking to grow its local vendor program.

"A driving factor behind building big stores is to offer a large variety of products — we try to have everything people are looking for and create awareness of new products through innovation and partnering with local purveyors," he said.

Fueling the Future

Looking ahead, Bickham anticipates opening more Fuel City convenience stores featuring the same concept and design as the company's Wylie location.

"Even in the short timespan since opening, the Wylie store is proving to be a wonderful success. With every store, we learn and refine from each iteration and our Wylie location has been a big leap in the right direction," the CEO said.

While Fuel City is growth-oriented and actively searching for properties, the company is focused on developing only the best sites, seeking quality over quantity. For now, Fuel City plans to buildout across the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, metroplex and surrounding areas.

"We like to think of ourselves as a 'Destination Station,' and I think that may be a new category," Bickham said. "Famous for fun, giddy up to a Fuel City near you and come experience 'Where Dreams Come True!'"

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds