Is Wawa Just a Jersey Thing? A Comprehensive Look at the Iconic Convenience Store

New Jersey has one Wawa tent for every 32,584 people, and it's no surprise that the state's nearly 9 million residents have an obsession with the place. But is there a similarly styled establishment that is better than Wawa? Some people in New Jersey say yes. At Wawa, you can order a touchscreen sandwich with page after page of options to meet all your micromanagement trends. The quality of their products has always been Wawa's greatest strength, and that's why die-hard fans keep coming back.

Every time you walk into a Wawa, you can easily access some convenient souvenirs. It wasn't until 1984 that the made-to-order sandwich debuted, consolidating Wawa as the base of quick lunches for workers and late night snacks for the drunk and hungry. Wawa employees are encouraged to be part of their communities, according to the New York Times, to “impress regular customers who will come five times a week or more.” As you venture to visit other Wawas over the years, you'll love seeing echoes of your own store elsewhere. In any Wawa, you can guarantee to find soda and cigarettes, but your options seem limitless.

Because memory is so strongly linked to smell and taste, a Wawa works as a kind of memory bank. Wawa started in New Jersey but is based in Pennsylvania, and has been making inroads into the northern parts of New Jersey, growing from its base in South Jersey. George Wood, the owner of Wawa, wanted to differentiate his product from the competition by starting with a small dairy farm and processing plant. The name Wawa comes from the native American word ojibwe for the Canadian goose, hence the iconic Wawa logo of a goose in flight.

When winter arrived, Wawa was one of the few businesses that remained open during the tourist exodus and freezing winds. But Wawa is much more than just a convenience store with a gas station - it's the antithesis of those soulless establishments.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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