The History of Wawa: From Iron Foundry to Beloved Convenience Store

Folsom is a census-designated place in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is part of Ridley Township. Originally conceived as an iron foundry in 1803, Wawa, Inc. has come a long way from its humble beginnings to become the beloved dairy and hoagie-focused convenience store that everyone knows today. In 1902, the company moved to Wawa, Pennsylvania and entered the dairy business.

The first Wawa store opened its doors in April 1964 in Folsom, Pennsylvania. This store was replaced by a modern “Super Wawa” across the street in June of last year. Zippia provides an in-depth look into the details of Wawa, including salaries, political affiliations, employee data and more. Straddling cheap and delicious, Wawa has a special place in many hearts.

Wawa stores located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida sell more than 60 million made-to-order sandwiches annually. Although Wawa's first store opened in 1964 in Folsom, Pennsylvania, the company has more than 200 years of history. The name Wawa comes from the native American word ojibwe for the Canadian goose, hence the iconic Wawa logo of a goose in flight. After hours on a surfboard, a Wawa sandwich tastes like something that has come down from the Olympus dining tables.

Employee data is based on information from people who have self-reported their past or current jobs at Wawa. In 2002, Wawa was one of the first convenience stores to introduce touchscreen orders at the deli counter. In 1985, Wawa partnered with PNC Bank to facilitate no-fee ATM transactions for its customers in 6 states. For many people, walking through the door of a Wawa is like coming home - it's a place where they feel comfortable and welcome.

As the milk delivery business declined in the 1960s, Wood's grandson Grahame realized that customers were buying more from supermarkets and thought that Wawa could distribute his products that way. Seven thousand consumers surveyed by Market Force gave Wawa a composite loyalty score of 68 percent - higher than other stores such as QuikTrip (62 percent) and Sheetz (59 percent). In a city full of 5 months a year and abandoned by the rest, Wawa was a constant place - always open and always a place for local children to gather on their skateboards and BMX bikes for refreshments before joking tourists or fighting freezing and boredom. Because memory is so strongly linked to smell and taste, a Wawa - any Wawa - works as a kind of memory bank. Whether you're a daily customer of Wawa or have only heard stories about this convenience store chain that has Oscar winner Kate Winslet among its fans, it's clear that this beloved establishment has earned its place in history.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

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

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