MVP Sonics Est. 1978
“The day I got to Sonic, I knew what I was going to do with the rest of my life.” - Buddy McClain
Buddy McClain started his career with Sonic Drive-In as a manager in training. By age 22, McClain became the owner-operator of the Sonic in Selma, Alabama in 1978. He then managed the Poplarville, Mississippi Sonic from 1978-1981 where he gained 4 more years of Sonic experience.
In 1981 he became a Franchisee and McClain re-opened a store that had been closed and made the store a success in Denham Springs, Louisiana. Within 2 years he owned 4 stores in the Baton Rouge Area.
In 1984 McClain partnered with his childhood friend, Bruce Vaughn, and together they bought the development rights for the Jackson, Mississippi market. Their philosophy was to build restaurants close to home to keep a close eye on their growing business, and within 10 years McClain and Vaughn had 12 locations within a one hour drive.
McClain and Vaughn knew they wanted to expand the business beyond Jackson, Mississippi and in 1996 they bought the territory rights to the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Market and then the MS Gulf Coast Market in 1997. It came time to grow McClain Vaughn & Partners Sonic Group outside of Mississippi, in 1998 they acquired and built drive ins in Mobile, Alabama. By 2005 the partnership had bought the rights to the Tampa and West Palm Beach, Florida markets. MVP in 2008 bought existing stores in the Tuscaloosa Market. By 2014 MVP had 63 locations across 3 states. And in 2015 we added 5 new drives-ins through acquisitions and new openings.
Following this success, Buddy McClain was presented the Troy Smith Hall of Fame Award in 2014. Named after Sonic’s founder, the Troy Smith Award is Sonic’s most prestigious award given to a franchisee that has made significant contribution to the Sonic brand, store growth, and leadership.
After a string of successful years of growth and profitability in 2016, MVP acquired 3 new locations in the Orlando, FL market, and another 25 in July in the Florida Panhandle. MVP also opened 2 new Florida locations in Parrish and Orange City, and one new location in the Jackson, MS and another in the Tuscaloosa market. In 2017, MVP opened locations in Palm Bay, Florida; Yazoo City, Mississippi; and by the end of the year another location in Sebring, FL. By the end of 2017 the number of locations within the MVP Sonic group will have grown to 101 locations. This growth is expected to continue, with 135 locations by 2022.