Savannah Business Journal Staff Report
November 7, 2019 - In just over one year since Enmarket acquired Joker Joe’s Truck Stop just off Interstate 95’s Exit 8, the property has undergone a complete renovation and expansion.
Enmarket is the largest and fastest-growing convenience store operator based in the coastal Georgia and South Carolina low country region, and the new Enmarket Travel Plaza — complete with the region’s first franchise of the Texas-originated Fuzzy’s Taco Shop — just opened earlier this month.
The nine-acre Hardeeville property, at the interchange of US Highway 278 with I-95, becomes the largest travel plaza in Enmarket’s extensive three-state inventory. With its location at the gateway to Hilton Head Island and the South Carolina Lowcountry, the newest Enmarket Travel Plaza is ideally situated to serve everyone from long-haul truckers traveling the I-95 corridor to vacationers headed to and from South Carolina’s beaches.
“With this travel plaza we are significantly expanding our diesel business,” said Brett Giesick, Enmarket’s president. “We’re also solidifying our position as a major fuel and restaurant provider between our home market of Savannah and Charleston. We’re also bringing an up-and-coming, exciting and affordable new fast-casual restaurant to the area as the first South Carolina location of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.”
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop specializes in Baja-style tacos, chips and queso and cold beverages. The menu is described as “Mexican favorites with a splash of Baja.”
The restaurant got its start in 2003, capitalizing on a location near the Texas Christian University campus in Fort Worth and making a name for itself as friendly to student budgets. It was named to Nation’s Restaurant News’ 10 Fastest-Growing Chains of 2018 and now has 150 corporate and franchise-owned locations in 16 states. Fuzzy’s currently is operating in Georgia in Athens and Alpharetta. This is the franchise’s first South Carolina location.
The re-designed 13,000-square-foot travel plaza includes nine diesel lanes. Improvements added since the Enmarket acquisition include an enlarged trucker’s lounge, updated showers, modernized truck scales and laundry facilities, along with a resurfaced parking lot and overnight parking for over-the-road and RV drivers.
In the remodeled convenience store, customers will find fresh hot and cold grab-and-go food options, the newest bean-to-cup coffee brewers and an expanded cooler and beer cave. The location will also mark Enmarket’s debut of Mooz, a new frozen yogurt offering. Mooz will include nine varieties of soft-serve frozen yogurt and features a topping bar with 24 different offerings.
Hutter & Associates served as the general contractor for the project.