Wawa's Florida 50

Celebrating its 50th c-store in Sunshine State; revealing plans for next 50

Wawa Florida 50th (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores)

ORLANDO, Fla. --On Sept. 18, Wawa Inc. is reaching a milestone in its Florida development--the grand opening of its 50th convenience store in the Sunshine State. The latest store is in Orlando.

Since its entrance into the Florida market in July 2012, Wawa has opened 31 Orlando and 19 Tampa stores, with plans to open nine more by the end of 2014. As part of the celebration, Wawa's president and CEO, Chris Gheysens and chairman, Dick Wood, will discuss Wawa's expansion strategy for the state and confirms plans for the chain's next 50 Florida locations, to open within the next two years at the rate of 25 stores per year spread throughout the Orlando, Tampa, Southwest Coast and Daytona markets.

Each new Wawa store will employ approximately 60 associates, all of which are new positions brought to the area through the development of the stores. Associates in these full- and part-time positions receive competitive salaries and health benefits and will have the opportunity to enroll in Wawa's employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).

The new-store celebration will also include donations to six Orlando and Tampa nonprofits; a celebration of milestone customers; a ceremonial ribbon cutting; a Hoagies for Heroes double header hoagie building competition; and free coffee in all Wawa stores statewide.

City of Orlando Commissioner Tony Ortiz will proclaiming Sept. 18, 2014, to be "Wawa Day."

"We could not be more excited to celebrate this incredible milestone in our newest Wawaland," said Chris Gheysens, Wawa's president and CEO.

"It's hard to believe just two years ago, we were just spreading our wings and opening our first store in Orlando, and now we have 50 locations," he said. "We are so honored to be a part of, serve in and support these incredible communities. In many ways it feels like Florida has always been a part of our Wawa family, and we're excited to see the many ways we can continue to, not only serve, but fulfill customers' lives every day in our next 50 Florida locations! It's particularly meaningful that we have reached this milestone during the 50th anniversary of our retail business."

Wawa, Pa.-based Wawa has more than 650 convenience stores (400 offering gasoline) in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and central Florida.

Part of CSP's 2014 Convenience Top 101 retailers