PHILADELPHIA -- Wawa Inc. on Dec. 14 opened its newest Philadelphia location, the largest in the more than 800-unit convenience-store chain. Wawa’s newest Center City store occupies a portion of the historic Public Ledger building near attractions such as the Liberty Bell and Independence National Historic Park, which draw heavy tourist traffic.
“All of us at Wawa are incredibly proud to open our largest store ever in this historic building situated right in the heart of Philadelphia’s Historic District,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa president and CEO. “This store is truly special for all of us at Wawa. It combines Philadelphia’s unique place in history and the site of many ‘Philly firsts’ with a unique, brand-new look and the very latest Wawa offerings. We look forward to welcoming new customers into this legendary space.”
At 11,500 square feet, about a third larger than any of Wawa’s existing stores, the new location includes several new product platforms and feature elements “unique to this location that bring to life the Wawa brand in new ways,” the company said.
Here are the details …
Highlights of the new Philadelphia Wawa store include …
- Two murals within the store created by local artists Willis Humphrey and Keir Johnston in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, featuring “Philly Firsts” imagery.
- Seating zones flanking the entrance, with couches or cafe seating, with a view of the historic downtown.
- Vaulted ceilings with industrial and art deco designs woven with copper.
- A living greenery wall celebrating freshness and quality.
- Large digital screens and free Wi-Fi.
- An extensive foodservice selection ranging from Wawa’s signature hoagies to new freshly made salads.
- A large bakery area with fresh-baked pastries, cakes, baguettes and French loaves and a dessert line featuring chocolate cake slices, cupcakes and gluten-free brownies.
- A self-service beverage offering with a large selection of Wawa Reserve coffees and a full-service beverage area with Americanos and lattes; a limited-time Molten Lava Liberty Latt (a combination of a hot chocolate and hot latte topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and red, white and blue sprinkles); and beverages on tap such as nitro cold brew, teas and kombucha.
The store’s grand opening events included a procession highlighting Wawa’s history and culture, with a fife and drum corps, historic Philadelphia and area mascots and a “declaration” read by an actor portraying Thomas Jefferson acknowledging the opening of the new store. It also featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Wawa leaders and associates.
Wawa will also be giving away prizes, and it will offer free coffee in any size all day through the weekend.
The event also featured the largest Hoagies for Heroes sandwich-building competition in Wawa’s history, with donations given to charities selected by the participants.
The Wawa, Pa.-based chain has more than 800 c-stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. It is No. 9 in CSP’s2018 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of company-owned retail outlets.