12 Things You Should Know About Wawa

June 22, 2016 0 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Pennsylvania-based Wawa, Inc., a gas station chain with a cult-like following, is aggressively expanding throughout Jacksonville. Today, Ennis Davis, AICP of ModernCities.com, shares 12 interesting facts you should know about Wawa.

1. Wawa started as a dairy in 1902

The old Wawa Dairy Farms building in Wawa, Pennsylvania courtesy of Wikipedia.com

George Wood founded the Wawa Dairy in 1902 in Wawa, Pennsylvania, to bottle fresh milk products from certified Guernsey cows. The Wawa Dairy produced and delivered certified Wawa milk to the doorsteps of homes throughout the Philadelphia region. On April 16, 1964, Grahame Wood opened the first Wawa Food Market in Folsom, PA to adjust to consumers buying milk in stores instead of using home delivery.

2. The company is named after Wawa, PA

 The chain's name comes from the site of the company's first milk plant and corporate headquarters in the Wawa, PA. The name of the town Wawa is in turn derived from the Ojibwe word for the Canada goose.

3. Wawa loves suburban Florida

Aerial of new Wawa in Winter Haven, FL. Aerial courtesy of Google Earth.

To date, Wawa has refused to construct pedestrian friendly stores in Florida. Wawa prefers freestanding locations at signalized intersections with direct access to a minimum traffic count of at least 25,000 vehicles per day. Wawa prefers sites that are zoned to permit use and operation by right, of a 24 hour Wawa Food Market, with gasoline sales. Wawa's ideal site and building characteristics include a lot size of approximately 2 acres, a 4,000-6,000 square foot building, 50-60 parking spaces and 16 fueling positions.

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Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com