Complete with a high school marching band, sub sandwich making contest and a visit from one of Wawa’s most loyal customers, the newest Wawa store held its grand opening on Thursday, March 22, 2018. The store is located at 11812 Beach Blvd., at the northern end of District 11.
District 11 Council Member Danny Becton spoke about the impact that this convenience store chain is having on the city and state. This is the 141st Wawa in Florida and the 789th in the nation.
Wawa is known for its freshly made custom sandwiches that customers order from computer kiosks. It sells a variety of other freshly made food goods and coffees. Each store employs 48 associates and managers.
“Full and part-time positions not only received competitive salaries but these jobs include benefits and the ability to become stockholders of the company,” Becton said.
Wawa is also known for a fanatic and almost cult-like following. People have proposed marriage and held marriages at Wawa stores. Donnie Woodcock, of Statesboro, Georgia, drove more than 2 hours and arrived before sunrise to be the first customer in the door. It’s not the first time he has done this. He has traveled to Wawa openings throughout the Southeast.
He has lost count of the exact number of openings he has attended. While living in Orlando, the retired Publix employee watched the construction of a Wawa every day until it was opened. He was on hand for that grand opening as well.
“I just love it,” he said of Wawa. “Everybody is so nice.”
Bill Benz, Wawa general manager, introduced Woodcock to those assembled and praised him for his store loyalty.
Other area Wawa Stores are located at:
Store #5276; 6787 Wilson Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32210
Store #5263; 678 Blanding Blvd. Orange Park, FL 32073
Store #5257; 4866 Gate Parkway Jacksonville, FL 32246
Store #5264; 11812 Beach Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32224
About Wawa: What is it? What do they serve? How many stores will open?
Pennsylvania-based Wawa is known for serving hoagies, freshly brewed coffee and soups, sides and snacks. Customers can customize their orders at touch-screen kiosks in the store and then pick up their meal or drink from the counter. Ready-made food is also available in Wawa stores.
Wawa plans to eventually open 25 to 35 stores in the greater Jacksonville area, Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens said in June 2016.
Those stores will bring 1,000 jobs to the area, Gheysens said.
"They're not just entry-level jobs. They are roles we've seen people, with our growth, get promotions, go into managerial positions and, also at Wawa, you're an owner," Gheysens said.
Each store costs roughly $5 million to $6 million, Gheysens said, and the 25 to 35 planned stores represent roughly a $150 million investment in the Jacksonville area.
Visit the Photo Galley for Pictures of the event.
View Wawa history at:
Posted on Thu, March 22, 2018
by Carol D'Onofrio