Wawa Inc., based in the Philadelphia suburb of Wawa, Pa., has roots that stretch deep into the dairy business, having operated dairy farms since the early 1900s. It began running "food markets" in the 1960s to address the challenges of home dairy delivery, using Wawa-branded milk and other dairy items as core traffic drivers.

Wawa since has become a household name, if not something close to religion due to an industry-leading foodservice program, proprietary coffee offering and overall focus on quality, service and value. The chain describes its food offering as "fast-casual-to-go with world-class convenience."

New Wawa stores feature 5,547 square feet of retail space and additional gasoline facilities, as well as new in-store graphics, colors, restroom design and merchandising features. The company wants its stores to be known as "restaurants that sell gas, not a gas station selling food."

Q2 2015 Update

Wawa Inc. announced the grand opening of its first three convenience stores in the Fort Myers, Fla., area, marking its official entrance into Southwest Florida. Since its entrance into the Florida market in 2012, Wawa has opened 62 stores, located in the Orlando and Tampa markets, with plans to launch throughout the Southwest Coast and Daytona. By year’s end, Wawa will have opened 25 new stores in Florida.

Q1 2015 Update

Wawa Inc. continued its aggressive growth in Florida. The Pennsylvania-based company already has 60 locations in the state, primarily in central Florida, and announced plans for expanding into Broward and Palm Beach Counties in South Florida during the next five years. By the end of 2019, Wawa wants to have about 20 stores open in each of Palm Beach and Broward Counties. The company also plans to expand into Miami-Dade by 2017 or 2018.

Wawa expects to open its 100th Florida store in 2016, four years after building its first store in Orlando.

Wawa also announced a massive remodeling program intended to remodel its older legacy stores in order to reflect the company’s latest design, technology and foodservice offering. Wawa will remodel 40 existing stores in 2015, the most in one year in the chain’s more than 50-year history.

Headquarters:Wawa, Pennsylvania
No. of Stores:660
Average Store Size:4,000+ sq. ft.
Rank Last Year:16
States of Operation: Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia