ORLANDO, Fla. -- Wawa Inc. announced a double-header milestone--the grand opening on Thursday of its fifth convenience store in the state of Florida and its 600th store chain-wide. Located in Orlando, this location is the fifth of five Wawa stores to open in five weeks in the greater Orlando area.
The fourth store opened August 8 in Kissimmee, the third opened August 1 in Kissimmee; the second opened July 25 in Orlando and the first opened July 18 in Orlando.
Wawa will open a total of six stores in Orlando in 2012--the sixth scheduled for an October opening in Orlando--and begin to open its first stores in Tampa in 2013. Throughout the Orlando/Tampa markets, Wawa plans to open 20 stores in 2013, 25 stores in 2014 and 25 stores in 2015 and projects they will open 100 stores in the Orlando/Tampa markets within the next five years.
The company also said that it has broken ground on four more stores--in Wekiwa, Orlando, Winter Park and Kissimmee. All are projected to open in first-quarter 2013.
"It's been an incredible five weeks, and we find it very fitting that our fifth grand opening in the Sunshine State also marks our 600th store to open chain-wide as it nicely rounds out this landmark occasion," said Wawa CEO Howard Stoeckel.
During the fifth store's grand opening event, Representative Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), Orange County commissioner Tiffany Moore-Russell, Orlando chief of police Paul Rooney, Wawa's chairman Richard D. Wood, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Dave Krepcho, local officials, heroes, community members, store associates and Wally the Goose all joined Wawa to take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony, a sampling of Wawa products and a charitable hoagie building competition featuring the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the Orange County Fire & Rescue and the Orlando Police Department.
Similar events were held at each of the five store openings.
The event also celebrated Wawa's partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. The company presented it with a check for $35,000. At the beginning of their five week launch, Wawa committed to donating a portion of hoagie sales for these first five stores (up to $5,000 per store) to Second Harvest, with a goal to raise and donate $25,000 in five weeks time. Not only did Wawa successfully raise $25,000, but executives decided to donate an additional $10,000 to the cause to show their depth of commitment and support.
Wawa, with headquarters in Wawa, Pa, is a chain of more than 595 convenience retail stores (300 offering gasoline). Stores are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and Florida. The stores offer a large fresh foodservice selection, including Wawa brands such as built-to-order hoagies, freshly-brewed coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches, built-to-order specialty beverages, and an assortment of soups, sides and snacks.