Company News

Wawa Marks 6 Decades of Convenience

C-store chain’s 60th anniversary celebration includes coffee giveaway, ‘Day Brightener’ customer recognition, history exhibit, positivity workshops, more
first wawa convenience store folsom, pennsylvania
Photograph courtesy of Wawa

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, Pennsylvania, in 1902. The milk business was a huge success, and as home delivery of milk declined in the early 1960s, Grahame Wood, George’s grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market on April 16, 1964, in Folsom, Pennsylvania, as an outlet for dairy products.

This April 16, Wawa is honoring its 60th anniversary as a convenience-store retailer by hosting two events in Philadelphia, one at its 6th and Chestnut Street store and one at the National Constitution Center, and by giving away any-size hot coffee to customers chainwide.

The morning will begin with a ceremonial coffee pour officially kicking off the day.

Wawa said it expects to give away nearly 1.5 million free cups of hot coffee to customers across all its stores, which will feature special decorations including vintage décor, cups and hoagie aper and will offer special tumblers for sale. Also, stores will feature special 60-cent promotions, including a birthday cake doughnut, as well as teas, juices and lemonade.

Each Wawa stores will select a customer to recognize as a “Day Brightener” on Wawa Day (April 16), with recognition of three very special customers at the 6th and Chestnut celebration for their role in making Wawa a special place.

Wawa and The Wawa Foundation will honor local and national charity partners, including the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, by distributing $1 million in gift cards.

At the National Constitution Center event, Wawa leaders will provide details on the chain’s expansion into adjacent and new markets.

  • Wawa is No. 9 on CSP’s 2023 Top 202 ranking of convenience-store chains by store count.

Wawa has more than 1,000 stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C. The company previously announced that it will open 80 c-stores in North Carolina, the first eight in 2024, and up to 20 in Georgia, with the first under construction in late 2023. Wawa also has revealed plans for 160 stores across the Midwest in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. And it said it plans to grow its store count in existing markets.

Company representatives will also cut the ribbon for an exhibit on Wawa through the years.

In front of the National Constitution Center. the company will display the Wawa 1918 Milk Truck, and it will offer free beverages and snacks from the Wawa Community Care Vehicle.

Local students from Philadelphia schools also will arrive for Wawa Day Field Trips. Former collegiate and NFL star Devon Still has teamed up with fellow University of Pennsylvania-trained positive psychology experts to launch a project to capture and share the opportunities that Wawa creates for customers and communities to pay-forward acts of kindness and positivity, the company said.. During the event, students enjoying the free day at the NCC will learn firsthand about the power of positivity and well-being that they have identified as “Wawa Ties.” Throughout the day, attendees will delve into Wawa’s quality connections, kindness, belonging, and acts of service that are inspired each day in all Wawa stores.

wawa 60th coffee

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