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Bahama Buck’s is open on Branson’s Highway 76.
Courtesy Google Maps
Bahama Buck’s is open on Branson’s Highway 76.

Bahama Buck’s debuts in Branson

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The ownership group behind a Hollister pub and chain of barbecue restaurants has brought a tropical-themed shaved ice franchise to Branson.

Brad Leighninger, Derrick Melugin, Jason Roberts and Tammy Zachary are franchisees in Lubbock, Texas-based Bahama Buck’s, which specializes in shaved ice with over 100 flavors and toppings, as well as other frozen nonalcoholic drinks, such as smoothies and lattes. Zachary said the shop opened Sept. 5 at 2843 W. 76 Country Blvd. The four also own Downing Street Pour House in Hollister and Gettin’ Basted, which has locations in Springfield, Branson and Nixa.

The newest Bahama Buck’s, which has roughly 115 locations in 11 states, is only the second open in Missouri, according to its website. The other Show Me State shop is in St. Peters.

Zachary said she’s always dreamed of owning a snow cone stand and was familiar with Bahama Buck’s.

“When the opportunity came up to do something with Bahama Buck’s, who have a good reputation in the industry and the type of business operators that they are, we felt like it would be a good fit for us and what we do,” she said.

Opening the shop on the Highway 76 Strip, which sits in between the owners’ Gettin’ Basted restaurant and indoor amusement park WonderWorks, required some demolition work. Zachary said startup costs were $750,000, including property purchase and demolition of most of the shuttered Baldknobbers Motor Inn.

“We actually renovated the office building that used to be there into the Bahama Buck’s. We had to have a contractor in order to do all the work because there were so many changes,” she said, noting Decatur, Arkansas-based MTZ Construction was hired for the project.

The new venture, which employs 30, is a departure in the industry the ownership group was interested in exploring, Zachary said.

“The attraction is twofold. For one, we’re in a tourist area, and we really felt like a concept like this would go over very well. We thought the location would maximize interest based on other businesses surrounding it,” she said. “Two, we wanted to get out of our wheelhouse of serving beef. Serving ice is a lot different from a business perspective on just your overall overhead and costs of doing business.”

While the owners are franchisees for the southwest Missouri area, Zachary said they have no other locations currently set to open.

“We’re just seeing how this one goes,” she said. “Property that makes sense for this concept has been difficult to find in our other areas.”

Bahama Buck’s has a $34,500 franchise fee, as well as ongoing 6% royalty and 2% advertising fees, according to its website.

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