Wawa Continues Tampa Bay Expansion

Published in CSP Daily News

Opens third, fourth locations; fifth of five stores set to open on March 6

JW Mitchell HS Jazz Ensemble

TAMPA, Fla. -- Wawa Inc. on Feb. 27 opened its fourth store in the Tampa Bay Region and the first store to open in New Port Richey, Fla. It is the fourth of five Wawa stores in the Tampa Bay Region to open in five weeks time. The third store opened Feb. 20.

Wawa will continue to penetrate the Tampa Bay market next week with the fifth opening, also in New Port Richey, on March 6.

In 2013, Wawa will open 10 stores in Tampa and 15 new Orlando stores. Throughout the Orlando/Tampa markets, Wawa will open 25 stores in 2014 and 25 stores in 2015, and projects it will open 100 stores in the Orlando/Tampa markets in the next five years.

The new stores will each employ more than 35 associates, all of which are new positions brought to the area through the development of the stores. Associates in these full

and part-time positions will not only receive competitive salaries and health benefits, but will also have the opportunity to be enrolled in Wawa's employee stock ownership plan.

During Wednesday's grand-opening event, Wawa executives were joined by local officials, heroes and community members for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, parade of Wawa's history, a family-reunion themed fan tent, sampling of Wawa products and a charitable hoagie building competition.

The event continues Wawa's partnership with Feeding America Tampa Bay through Wawa's Lending a Helping Hoagie Campaign. As Wawa opens five stores in the Tampa area in five weeks time, it has committed to donating a portion of hoagie sales for these first five stores (up to $5,000 per store) to Feeding America Tampa Bay, with a goal to raise and donate $25,000 in five weeks' time to go directly to Feeding America's child hunger programs and Kid's Cafes. "Through community initiatives like this campaign, Feeding America Tampa Bay's Kids Café program is able to distribute over 3,000 meals weekly to low income students in the Tampa Bay area," said Thomas Mantz, executive director of FATB.

"We were so delighted with the warm welcome we received at our first three openings in the Tampa Bay area, and we are thrilled to open our fourth store in the Tampa Bay market right here in New Port Richey," said Chris Gheysens, Wawa's president and CEO. "With the fourth opening, we also continue our Lending a Helping Hoagie program to donate funds to the Feeding America food banks in the Tampa Bay area. In addition, we are proud to continue our longstanding support of local heroes--thanking them for the service they provide to the community--including the local fire and police departments."

He added, "As each location opens, we will further solidify our commitment to filling a void in our new Florida customers' lives, providing them with a level of convenience and appetite appeal our customers have come to rely on us for."

Wawa, based in Wawa, Pa., is a chain of more than 600 convenience retail stores (300 offering gasoline) located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and Florida.