On Oct. 17, Wawa Inc. held the grand opening of its 200th Florida store located at 12456 Tamiami Trail East in Naples, Florida. The new store opening comes a little more than seven years after Wawa launched in the Florida market, ahead of initial projections and schedules.
To mark the occasion and to show Wawa’s continued commitment to fighting hunger and giving back to the communities it serves, every store in the state of Florida featured a handcrafted specialty drink called The Wawa Florida Sunrise—a combination of lemonade, orange juice and strawberry. The beverage will be available in Wawa stores through the end of October, and up to $25,000 of the proceeds will be donated to Feeding Florida food banks in Wawa’s operating area.
“Since opening our first store in Florida in 2012, building community partnerships and fighting hunger has been a major component of our statewide commitment to lend a helping wing to our Florida communities,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa’s president and CEO. “We are honored to use the occasion of our 200th Florida store opening to celebrate with the entire state, add an exciting specialty drink to the Sunshine State menu and help bring together our customers and associates, all in the name of fighting hunger.”
Wawa recognized the opening of its 200th Florida store, the more than 7,000 jobs the company has created and its ongoing commitment to Florida expansion with a special Wawa Florida Family Reunion at the Naples Grand opening. The 9 a.m. event featured a ribbon-cutting and an aerial photo featuring more than 200 customers, associates and community partners. A special cornerstone will permanently commemorate the store as the 200th in Wawa’s Florida expansion.
“As we reflect on our Florida journey, beginning with a single store in 2012 and now opening our 200th store in 2019, we are deeply grateful to our customers and associates who have made this expansion possible,” said Gheysens. “Thank you for supporting us over the past seven years. We can’t wait to see what the future of Wawa in Florida holds!”
In July 2012, the Wawa, Pennsylvania-based company opened its first Florida store, outside SeaWorld in Orlando. The new store in Naples was joined by two other store openings on Oct. 17—one in Nokomis and one in Ormond Beach.
On Oct. 15, Wawa broke ground in its newest market in Florida—Gainesville—with three stores under construction. Wawa plans to continue to open an average of 20-30 stores per year for the next several years with the goal of reaching 400 stores by 2028.
“Using our past success in Florida as a gauge, we are optimistic that we can grow past our initial projections in the next 10 years,” said Brian Schaller, SVP of real estate and fuel for Wawa. “We look forward to the next 200 stores.”