A Sweeter Stop

Hat Six Travel Center offers unique gifts, private label products and locally made items.

A Sweeter Stop

June 2024   minute read

By: Sarah Hamaker

Name of company:
Hat Six Travel Center

Year founded:

# of stores:


If you stop by locally owned Hat Six Travel Center in Evansville, Wyoming, bring your sweet tooth. You’ll need it to sample the store’s wide array of private label candy. “We offer something for everyone who wants candy,” said Megan Williams, director of operations. The products range from “candy bars to brownie bites to licorice.”

The complex also caters to truckers, tourists and locals with a carefully curated selection of Wyoming-made novelty and gift items. But Hat Six didn’t always provide such variety of fresh food, packaged goodies and gifts—the transformation took place over several years.

The Origin of Hat Six

More than 20 years ago, the owners of Hat Six purchased East Gate Travel Center, which had evolved from a very small 1970s gas station and truck fueling stop with a restaurant and tiny bar to a travel plaza. “The owners had a vision around 2014 for a better travel center, one with more modern amenities and better parking for trucks, as well as more fuel options,” Williams said. “They wanted Hat Six to become more of a destination for shopping and fueling in a bigger, more modern facility.”

The revamped Hat Six Travel Center debuted in 2016. With the location right off I-25, having the right mix of fuel was important. Hat Six has 14 gas pumps, seven diesel fueling spots and eight Tesla charging stations. “We have propane too, with an easy in, easy out parking lot,” Williams said.

Several restaurants provide a variety of fresh-prepared foods for travelers and locals. Cowboy Deli, the in-house deli and bakery, serves burgers, burritos, corndogs and chili, and Hat Six Heritage offers healthy and high-end options, such as a charcuterie box, steak salad and chicken avocado salad.

Three restaurants provide a variety of fresh prepared foods for travelers and locals. While Schlotzsky’s Deli and Cinnabon are chains, Hooch’s Bar & Drive-Thru has an original menu with burgers made from Wyoming grass-fed beef, as well as sandwiches like a French dip and BLT, appetizers and soups.

“Hooch’s recently unveiled a new menu, and “the reception has been good from our local clientele and truckers,” Williams said. “It’s something different on the same property, so Hooch’s is a great amenity for our professional drivers.”

Hat Six offers bean-to-cup coffee and fresh-brewed espresso drinks from its own Wild Pony Coffee Company. “We sell coffee from our local roaster as well as make craft drinks like espresso, Red Bull drinks, lattes and mochas,” Williams said. For packaged beverages, the retailer has “any drink you’ve seen on Instagram in our 17 cooler doors,” she said. That includes natural juices and kombucha as well as energy drinks and sodas.

The store stocks a wide range of protein bars and other snacks in addition to its private label candy. Five freezer doors carry locally raised meat like steaks and hamburger. “Some of our drivers like to grill their own meals, so we provide the fixings for that,” Williams said. “We also have one-of-a-kind Wyoming-made snacks, from cake pops to cheesecakes to freeze-dried candy.”

Unique Novelties

One major way Hat Six differentiates itself from other convenience stores and travel centers is with its mostly Wyoming-made gifts and novelties. “We’re a good place to look for a gift because we aren’t your typical c-store and truck stop,” Williams said. “We have fewer spinners with name plates and more of an assortment of boots, western hats and belts,” plus art and artist-made jewelry.

Bright Ideas

Hat Six Travel Center’s private label candy has expanded recently. “We started out with our own private label soda and popcorn, but added candy within the last few months,” said Megan Williams, director of operations for the Evansville, Wyoming, travel center. “Now we have a whole candy section that’s just our private label.”

The private label candy includes candy bars, brownie bites, licorice, freeze-dried candy and other old-school candy. “This is our biggest private label selection and sales have been good,” she said. “We’ll be keeping it and probably adding to it in the months to come.”

Hat Six carries a wide selection of other Wyoming-made products too, from Bloody Mary mixes to salsas and honey. Locally made artwork, pottery and jewelry provide even more opportunities to find unique items. “We also have our own label of hoodies and t-shirts with Wyoming-inspired sayings or pictures,” she said.

“Gifts is one area where we are different and pride ourselves on catering to a unique experience rather than the usual items found at truck stops or c-stores,” Williams added

For Hat Six, the goal is to provide a great experience the customer can’t get anywhere else. “Whether they’re travelers or locals, this is a place to go for a drink or gifts,” she said. “We offer a clean, inviting environment from the common area to the bathrooms, and the most unique Wyoming-made items in the area. We pride ourselves on being better than anyone else, and our selection reflects that.”

Sarah Hamaker

Sarah Hamaker

Sarah Hamaker is a freelance writer, NACS Magazine contributor, and romantic suspense author based in Fairfax, Virginia. Visit her online at sarahhamakerfiction.com.

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