When it comes to convenience stores, Wawa is a name that is synonymous with high-quality products, excellent customer service, and a deep connection to the community. From the iconic goose logo to the beloved hoagies, Wawa has become a staple in the Philadelphia area and beyond. But what makes Wawa so special? In this ultimate guide, we'll dive into the history, food, employee benefits, and even recent closures of Wawa to give you a comprehensive understanding of this beloved convenience store chain.
The History of Wawa
Wawa has been serving the Philadelphia area and beyond for over 57 years, making it a beloved institution in the region. But where did it all begin? The company's roots can be traced back to a rural section of Pennsylvania called Wawa, where their original dairy opened in 1964. It's here where the company gets its name, as "Wawa" is a Native American word for the Canadian goose that was found in the Delaware Valley over a century ago. The goose remains the company's logo as a nod to its origins and connection to the area.
Wawa started out as a dairy farm that produced milk and other dairy products. In the 1970s, Wawa began to expand and opened its first convenience store in Folsom, Pennsylvania. The store was an instant success and the company began to rapidly expand. In the 1980s, Wawa began to offer hoagies, which quickly became a customer favorite. Today, Wawa operates over 900 stores in six states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Florida.
The company has always been committed to providing high-quality products and services to its customers. Wawa is known for its fresh food, made-to-order sandwiches, and its famous coffee. In addition, the company has always been a pioneer in the convenience store industry. Wawa was one of the first companies to offer surcharge-free ATMs and one of the first companies to offer online ordering and curbside pickup.
Wawa is also known for its commitment to the community. The company is a major sponsor of various charitable organizations, such as the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the American Red Cross. The company also supports local communities by providing jobs, economic development, and by supporting local farmers.
The Food and Beverages at Wawa
Wawa is known for its hot coffee, which is cursed at all hours of the day. But that's not all – Wawa also offers a wide range of food options, including delicious hoagies, burgers and fries, and even pizza. Wawa's hoagies are made with high-quality ingredients and are prepared fresh daily. They also have a “Wawa Shorti” which is a smaller version of the classic hoagie, perfect for those who are looking for a quick and satisfying meal.
Wawa also offers a wide variety of breakfast items, including breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and oatmeal. They have a wide selection of salads, soups, and sides as well. Wawa's deli selection includes a variety of fresh meats and cheeses that are sliced to order, allowing customers to create their own custom sandwiches. Additionally, Wawa offers a wide range of grab-and-go options, including salads, fruit cups, and pre-packaged sandwiches, making it easy for customers to grab a quick and healthy meal on the go.
Another popular food option at Wawa is their made-to-order pizzas. These pizzas are made with fresh ingredients and can be customized to the customer's liking. Whether it's a classic pepperoni pizza or a unique creation with your favorite toppings, Wawa's pizzas are a delicious option for customers looking for a quick and satisfying meal.
And if you're in need of catering, Wawa has got you covered, they can provide breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Plus, they can even deliver to your home or office. Wawa is always thinking of ways to make the customer experience better, they also have a pull up service, where you can order on the app and they bring it out to your car.
In addition to food, Wawa also offers a wide range of beverages, including soda, energy drinks, tea, and lemonade. They also offer a variety of specialty drinks, such as frozen cappuccinos and smoothies. And of course, Wawa's famous coffee is available in a variety of flavors and styles, including regular, decaf, and flavored options.
The Employee Benefits at Wawa
Wawa is an associate-owned business, which means that the company is operated and owned by its employees. This unique business model is reflected in the employee benefits offered by Wawa. These include tuition reimbursement, stock options, 401K benefits, full health benefits, paid time off, and employee discounts on Wawa products. Plus, they have a mobile app where you can collect benefits, and special treats.
Wawa also offers its employees an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which allows them to become part-owners of the company. This is a unique benefit that is not offered by many other companies, and it helps to create a sense of pride and ownership among the employees. Additionally, Wawa offers a variety of training and development opportunities for its employees, including management training and leadership development programs.
Recent Closures of Wawa
Recently, Wawa has closed two of its center city locations due to safety concerns and business factors. The closures were prompted by a few incidents, including when a group of 100 kids ransacked a Mayfair location and when five women stole from and hurt an employee at a 36th Chestnut location. These incidents were unfortunate and saddened the Wawa team, but they were also a cause for concern regarding the safety of employees and customers alike.
However, it's important to note that these closures were not a reflection of the overall health of the company. Wawa is still committed to providing safe and high-quality services to its customers, as well as to its employees. Despite these closures, Wawa's other locations are open and thriving, and the company remains committed to growing and expanding in the future. Wawa also continues to invest in the safety of its stores, by implementing security measures such as surveillance cameras, and hiring more security personnel.
Wawa's commitment to safety is also reflected in its commitment to the communities where it operates. The company regularly works with local law enforcement agencies and community organizations to address safety concerns and to improve the overall quality of life in the communities it serves.
Wawa is more than just a convenience store – it's a beloved institution that has been serving the Philadelphia area and beyond for over 57 years. From the iconic goose logo to the delicious food options, Wawa has something for everyone. And with the added benefits of being associate-owned, such as tuition reimbursement, stock options, and employee discounts, it's no wonder that Wawa is a favorite among both customers and employees alike. Next time you're in the area, be sure to stop by a Wawa and see for yourself why it's such a beloved institution. With the Wawa app, you can make it even more convenient, you can order ahead, pay on the app, collect rewards and more. Wawa is more than just a store, it's a part of the community, and it will continue to be for many years to come.
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Gregory Martire REALTOR Springer Realty Group
Phone (484) 997-8068 Office (484) 498-4000