Why is Wawa so Popular in New Jersey?

Wawa Inc. is a beloved convenience store chain that has been around since 1803. It started as an iron foundry and eventually moved to Wawa, Pennsylvania, where it entered the dairy business. Today, Wawa is known for its clean bathrooms, quality food products, and discounted gasoline. It's no surprise that there are multiple Wawa stores in many cities, as the business justifies it.

The Sunshine State is about to become the new home of Wawa Inc., as the convenience retailer increases its number of stores in Florida. To accommodate this expansion, Wawa recently announced a hiring campaign to add 1,000 new associates across Florida over the next three months. The company is also hosting contracting events as it prepares to open its first convenience stores in Miami. Company spokeswoman Lori Bruce said that Wawa expects to operate a total of 50 stores in South Florida in the coming years.

However, despite the expansion in Florida, Wawa is not neglecting its home state. The convenience retailer recently opened its largest store to date in Philadelphia's historic Independence Mall and began a larger hiring campaign to fill more than 4,000 positions in the next three months. In a city crowded for 5 months a year and abandoned by the rest, Wawa was a constant place, always open and providing refreshments for local children on their skateboards and BMX bikes before joking tourists or fighting freezing and boredom. When winter arrived, Wawa was one of the few businesses that remained open during the tourist exodus and freezing winds. It wasn't until 1984 that made-to-order sandwich debuted, consolidating Wawa as the base of quick lunches for workers and nightly refreshments for the drunk and hungry. In what has been called its “most aggressive growth plan to date”, the company plans to open another 1,800 locations by 2030. Starting with a small dairy farm and processing plant, George Wood, the owner of Wawa, wanted to differentiate his product from the competition.

In 2002, Wawa was one of the first convenience stores to introduce touchscreen orders at the delicatessen counter. Wawa now has more than 750 convenience stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. It has been called “as familiar in the Pennsylvania landscape as scrapple and Tastykakes”. Straddling cheap and delicious, Wawa still has a special place in many hearts. There are currently more than 270 Wawa stores in New Jersey and more than 900 stores across the East Coast. Despite its popularity among customers, not everyone is happy to have them as their new neighbors.

Website 70 and 73 reported that neighbors were upset by a Wawa proposal that received planning board approval near White Horse Pike on Route 30 and are suing the municipality in response. The name Wawa comes from the native American word ojibwe for the Canadian goose, hence the iconic Wawa logo of a goose in flight. With more than 750 locations spread across New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida, Wawa is slowly making its way to East Coast convenience store dominance. Wawa continues to grow with three new locations planned for New Jersey and two more pending approval. A Super Wawa on Route 73 and Kresson Road in Voorhees received zoning board approval in a 5-2 vote according to 70 and 73.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

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

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