In 1992, Wawa formalized its ownership of associates with its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), awarding shares to associates based on prior year service. This chain of convenience stores and gas stations has its roots in the Wawa, Pennsylvania area, where the company's first dairy plant and corporate headquarters were located. Wawa offers a range of hot breakfast items, including the famous Sizzli, as well as a delicatessen shop with touchscreen orders for sandwiches, hot sides, drinks and cold cuts. The name Wawa has become a deep part of the company's culture, according to spokeswoman Lori Bruce.
It covers parts of Pennsylvania that don't yet have rival stores like Sheetz, which is often compared to Wawa due to their similar business models and Pennsylvania origins. All Wawa stores are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, employing 22,000 people and serving 400 million customers annually. The chain operates in Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington D. C.The word 'wawa' is believed to have originated from the Ojibwa language, meaning 'snow goose'.
This is similar to the sound made by Canadian geese. In the Solomon Islands in northeastern Australia, Marau Wawa is a small island whose last remaining Wawans died about a century ago, along with their language. However, some of its words have been preserved. Wawa is a private company that ensures an independent assessment of the value of its shares at regular intervals to ensure that the ESOP is fairly maintained. Open before and after traditional supermarkets, they carried other foods and beverages besides milk, as well as other items from the Wawa dairy.
The chain is the number one convenience store seller of Herr's chips, Amoroso hoagie rolls (estimated 200,000 per day), Tastykake and Sunday Inquirer. According to Tim Wright of New Mexico State University, birds have dialects too - yellow-naped Amazon parrots (Amazona auropalliata) in northern Costa Rica croak 'wawa' at each other when they gather. Although Wawa is a family business, its associates own approximately 50% of the company - more than 40% of which is owned by the company's employee stock ownership program.