Wawa Previewing First Tampa Bay Store

Local officials, company execs on hand for VIP store tour, luncheon

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. -- Wawa Inc. is celebrating the Feb. 8 grand opening of its first store in the Tampa Bay area with a VIP Store Tour & Luncheon preview the day before the store opens to the public. At the Thursday event, the mayor of Pinellas Park, Fla., Sandra Bradbury, along with Wawa officials, will announce expansion plans and Wawa's expected economic impact in the Tampa area.

The company will also announce its partnership with Feeding America Tampa Bay to help fight hunger and its partnerships with All Children's Hospital to sponsor Nurse Appreciation Week activities.

Attendees will take a private tour of the store and its facilities; watch Wawa associates build the ceremonial first hoagie and present it to a representative from Feeding America Tampa Bay; sample Wawa's signature products, handed out by Wawa chefs; listen to Wawa vice president of store operations Sal Mattera speak about expansion plans and Wawa's culture; speak one-on-one with Wawa officials including Wawa's president and CEO Chris Gheysens; meet Brandy Halladay of the Halladay Family Foundation, wife of Philadelphia Phillie's Pitcher Roy Halladay; and meet Wawa mascots Wally Goose and Shorti.

On Feb. 8, Wawa will launch in the Tampa Bay area. Wawa's VIP and media sneak preview will provide a behind the scenes look at the store before it opens to the public. Attendees can listen to Wawa's leadership share business plans for the Tampa and Central Florida region and share their plans for long-term investment in the community.

This is the first of five stores to open in Tampa in five weeks time, and Wawa 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, and help fight hunger in the Tampa community and to support child hunger programs.

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.