Wawa is a family business that has been around for many years, and it has a special meaning to many people. It is an Ojibwe word that means “goose”, and it is also the name of a convenience store chain that is beloved by many. Wawa associates own approximately 50% of the company, and more than 40% of this is owned by the company's employee stock ownership program. The company has a motto of “Buy Health by the Bottle”, and they serve customers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, delivering milk to customers' homes. The success of Wawa is due to its technology, tightly controlled supply chain operations, and a group expansion strategy that establishes most of the new stores close to other Wawas.
The company also has a unique culture that is fiercely loved by its customers. This culture includes offering flavors of sesame seed hoagie rolls for customers to sample, as well as offering a beverage expert to guide customers through a small batch tasting. Wawa operates stores in Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. The company was founded by Dick Wood in the 1960s. He approached work with a healthy appreciation for Wawa's culture, and with a philosophy that continued to lay the foundation for Gheysens.
In 1998, the company sold a stake to an investment group controlled by the McNeil family, the heirs of Tylenol. This group tried to force Wawa to make it public in five years. Wawa also has a strong commitment to its customers. For example, one employee made a house visit to an 89-year-old woman who had fallen and contacted Wawa for help. The employee drove her to the ER.
The company also owns 50 acres (20 ha) of land around Red Roof, the corporate headquarters, 150 acres (61 ha) of land around the Wawa dairy and 225 acres (91 ha) J. Wood family as a whole controls about 725 acres (293 ha) of land, which contain the corporate headquarters, the Wawa and J.In addition to its commitment to its customers, Wawa has also been recognized for its adoption of in-store technology, online ordering and app features. Convenience Store News recently honored Wawa with its Retail Innovator of the Year award for these features. Finally, there is also a river in Nicaragua called Wawa River that flows through an isolated and sparsely inhabited jungle through stunning views of the northeastern part of the country.