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NAPLES, Fla., Oct. 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wawa, Inc., today announced a major milestone in the company’s history—the grand opening of its 200th Florida store! Located at 12456 Tamiami Trail E., (41 & Price) in Naples, FL, Wawa will host a special grand opening celebration to commemorate the occasion on October 17, 2019. This milestone comes a little more than seven years after the Wawa launched into the Florida market, ahead of initial projections and schedules.
To mark the occasion and to show Wawa’s continued commitment to fighting hunger and giving back to the communities it serves, every store in the state of Florida will feature a hand-crafted specialty called “The Wawa Florida Sunrise.” This specialty drink features a refreshing combination of lemonade, orange juice and strawberry, all in a beautiful colored beverage that is meant to bring to life a beautiful Sunshine State sunrise. The Sunrise beverage will be available in all Florida Wawa stores through the end of October 2019, and up to $25,000 of the proceeds will be donated to Feeding Florida Foodbanks in Wawa’s operating area.
“Since opening our first store in Florida in 2012, building community partnerships and fighting hunger has been a major component of our state-wide commitment to lend a helping wing to our Florida communities,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa’s President and CEO. “We are honored to use the occasion of our 200th Florida store opening to celebrate with the entire state, add an exciting specialty drink to the Sunshine State menu and help bring together our customers and associates all in the name of fighting hunger.”
About the 200th Store Opening in Naples, Florida
Wawa will celebrate its 200th Florida Store, the more than 7,000 jobs the company has created and its ongoing commitment to Florida expansion with a special Wawa Florida Family Reunion at the Naples Grand opening taking place on October 17 at 9:00 a.m. Before the ribbon cutting at the Naples store, an aerial photo will be taken of more than 200 family reunion members, made up of customers, associates and community partners, standing in the shape of the number 200 in front of the store. At the conclusion of the ceremony, a special cornerstone will be revealed to permanently commemorate the store as the 200th in Wawa’s Florida expansion.
“As we reflect on our Florida journey, beginning with a single store in 2012 and now opening our 200th store in 2019, we are deeply grateful to our customers and associates who have made this expansion possible,” said Gheysens. “Thank you for supporting us over the past seven years. We can’t wait to see what the future of Wawa in Florida holds!”
Florida Expansion Continues
In July of 2012, Wawa launched in Orlando, opening its first store outside of SeaWorld, with a goal to provide a whole new world of quality and convenience for Floridians. Just seven years later Wawa is celebrating the 200th store opening in Florida ahead of its initial timeline projection. As a part of this milestone celebration, Wawa will be announcing the next phase in its continued Florida expansion spread throughout markets across the state. The milestone store in Naples will be joined by two other store openings the same day, one in Nokomis (Wawa’s 201st Florida Store) and one Ormond Beach (Wawa’s 202nd Florida store), for a total of three new stores on the same day. Earlier in the week on Tuesday, October 15, Wawa broke ground in its newest market in Gainesville, Florida, with three stores going under construction. Wawa plans to continue to open an average of 20-30 stores per year for the next several years with the goal of reaching 400 stores by 2028.
“Using our past success in Florida as a gauge, we are optimistic that we can grow past our initial projections in the next 10 years,” said Brian Schaller, Sr. VP of Real Estate & Fuel for Wawa. “We look forward to the next 200 stores!”
About Wawa, Inc.
Wawa, Inc., a privately held company, began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. Toward the end of the 19th Century, owner George Wood took an interest in dairy farming and the family began a small processing plant in Wawa, PA in 1902. The milk business was a huge success, due to its quality, cleanliness and “certified” process. As home delivery of milk declined in the early 1960s, Grahame Wood, George’s grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 as an outlet for dairy products. Today, Wawa is your all day, every day stop for freshly prepared foods, beverages, coffee, fuel services and surcharge-free ATMs. A chain of more than 870 convenience retail stores (over 600 offering fuel), Wawa stores are in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C. The stores offer a large fresh foodservice selection, including Wawa brands such as custom prepared hoagies, freshly brewed coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches, specialty beverages and an assortment of soups, sides and snacks. In 2018, Wawa was recognized in Forbes as one of The Best Employers for New Grads and one of The Best Employers for Women, and as the Top-Rated Workplace for Veterans by Indeed. In 2019, Wawa was designated by Forbes as a Best Employer for Diversity.