Fuzzy’s Taco Shop to make its return to Texoma

A Waxahachie-based fuel company is bringing Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and Texas Best Smokehouse in a new travel center on the north end of Denison across from Denison High School.

The travel center is being developed by Victron Energy, Inc. A North Texas based company that has over 170 stores across Texas and Oklahoma.

Victron Vice President of Development Mohamed Sharaf said the business was drawn to Denison for a number of reasons, with Lake Texoma and the high school being major considerations.

“Denison has a lot of amenities for people traveling up and down (Highway) 75 to and from the lake,” Sharaf said. “We felt like there was not a spot in this part of town that would be quick and easy to get everything. You can get a beer, if you want to get some fishing supplies and get a bite to eat you can. We can take care of all that. We even have parking sports for RV’s and boats and the like. We love the fact it is Texas Best Smokehouse. Our brand is all about Texas. This is the second exit coming into Texas coming into the state from Oklahoma. It is a way to showcase where Denison is what the whole state is about.”

Sharaf said Denison has been one of the best cities he has worked with.

The city is investing $200,000 in the project including a mix of tax rebates and infrastructure improvements. The Denison Development Alliance is providing $60,000 dollars in infrastructure improvements to cover the cost of a sewer line installation with the City Council covering the rest of the incentive package with a rebate agreement. Under the terms of the agreement with DDA, the company will donate $500 per year to any non-profit in the city while it operates in Denison and the company is required to maintain membership with the Denison Chamber of Commerce.

“Every day is a great day in Denison, Texas,” Denison Mayor Janet Gott said. “But, it is especially great when we get to announce a new partner in our community. Sometimes it takes a gathering like this for us to remember all the great things going on in our community.”

Sharaf said the location being near the high school played a huge role in some of the design choices for the establishment. Early on in the process, he met with Denison Independent School District Superintendent Henry Scott to discuss the concerns the school district had. Sharaf took those concerns into account. He said the decision to spend the extra money buying more land than he needed to allow for having separate entrance and exit points for passenger cars and semi trucks was a factor. He also said keeping the alcohol in a separate part of the store from the Fuzzy’s Taco Shop was also a consideration.

“We’re a family business,” Sharaf said. “I wouldn’t want my mom or sisters trying to get in the same time as a truck causing issues. It is really important for us. Because we’re not a huge truck stop, we’re a travel center, trucks aren’t our focus. Usually what people do put them in with the same access. We make a point not doing that so people feel safe coming in and using our facilities. We’re going to have a lot of 16-year-old, first-time drivers out there. We want to keep them safe too.”

Sharaf said his dad founded the company in the 1980’s. His father had been a civil engineer in Syria and fled the country due to the communist dictatorship. Once he arrived in America he took a job as a cashier at a local gas station in south Dallas. From there he saved up his money to buy that store and grew his business. Today his family continues to operate his business with over 170 stores around Texas and Oklahoma.

“We’re the largest family-owned convenience store, travel center developer within the state,” Sharaf said. “We’re still headquartered in Waxahachie, Texas, a similar sized city as Denison, for over 20 years. We love coming to communities like this. Thinking about what this community needs, what can we bring, we’re excited to be here.”

The new travel center will include a Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and Texas Best Smokehouse to the store. One feature it will include is a full bait and tackle shop area that will cater to the lake market with an aesthetic that resembles a cave. There will also be a mural on the side of the wall facing the high school that will feature highlights from the city. It will cost an estimated $7.5 million and is expected to generate $6.8 million in sales a year.