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Bigger Is Better in Texas

Bigger Is Better in Texas

Bigger Is Better in Texas

A second Duke’s Travel Plaza sells an eclectic array of services and Texas-made products.

February 19, 2024

Duke’s Travel Plaza in Mt. Vernon, Texas, wears its Lone Star State Articles proudly. It’s the second Duke’s, joining a location in Canton, Texas. “We built our Mt. Vernon location from the ground up and knew we wanted it to have an even more Texas look and feel than our first location,” said Mike Hamzeh, Duke’s general manager. “We prominently feature Texas-made products, as well as lots of pictures of the Duke (actor John Wayne) as part of our decor.”

While the Mt. Vernon location of Duke’s caters to truckers pulling off I-30, the store also has a strong local following drawn to its good food, clean location, fun atmosphere and unique novelty items. “We have a passion for people, and we love seeking new items or opportunities to delight them,” he said.

Starting with Food

Like many modern convenience stores, Duke’s focuses on offering a variety of fresh foodservice through a franchise of Taco Casa and its own barbeque restaurant, Cotton Belt BBQ, and bakery. “We serve brisket, turkey, pulled pork and different sides in the restaurant, while our bakery makes our popular fried pies, cookies, muffins and cheesecake,” Hamzeh said.

A large grab-and-go section provides chicken nuggets, fried green beans, fried pickles, chimichangas, mac-and-cheese crunch, buffalo crunch and turkey legs, plus specials like Salisbury steak dinners. In addition, the cold case offers premade sandwiches and salads, like egg, tuna and lettuce. “Our drivers especially like the wide variety of options to choose from in our foodservice area,” Hamzeh said. Of course, the store has fresh brewed coffee, fountain drinks, beer and wine and frozen beverages.

To continue reading, check out the latest issue of NACS Magazine.

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