CHELTENHAM, Pa. -- Wawa Inc. is opening its 500th store with fuel this November.
It’s quite an achievement for a chain that famously describes its stores as “restaurants that sell gas, not a gas station selling food.” Wawa first began selling fuel in the 1970s, only to get out of the business and then return in the 1990s.
The 500th fueling site is a new build in Cheltenham, Pa., said an Abington Patch report. For the store’s grand opening on Nov. 10, Wawa had planned free coffee, a charity hoagie-building competition and care-package assembly in honor of Veterans Day, where customers could help put together a care package of Wawa merchandise and write a letter of appreciation for deployed troops to open for the holidays.
Local officials, law enforcement and reps from Wawa will also make remarks.
“When we determined our 500th fuel store grand opening was happening the day before Veterans Day, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by paying tribute to the men and women who protect the freedoms we all enjoy,” said Brian Schaller, vice president of fuel in a statement.
“Today, we honor the associates and customers who have helped us achieve this milestone, as well as our heroes who make our communities and our country such a special place,” he said. “It’s hard to believe in just 20 years we’ve grown from a chain of food-only convenience stores to now 500 fuel stores across six states and diesel in over 400 of those stores.”
Besides opening its 500th gasoline location, Wawa also opened its first compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling site this year, at a store in Paulsboro, N.J.
Wawa, Pa.-based Wawa is a privately owned chain of more than 730 convenience stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.