Fast Food

Wawa Convenience Stores Come to Florida

You Jersey transplants who are longing for hoagies and water ice and the sight of oil refineries on the gray horizon, your beloved Wawa is coming to Florida.

OK, right now it's only up in north and central Florida, but they already have six locations open in Kissimmee and Orlando, with two more on the way in Orlando and five coming soon to the Tampa area.

It is only a matter of time until the glorious site of red Wawa signs will dot our humble sparkling blue vistas.

According to the Wawa website (say that three times fast) the "first wave" of Tampa stores is set to wash up in the first quarter of 2013 and they plan to have 100 Florida locations within five years.

Come on, large swaths of the state are still either swamp or farm land, so you just know those Ws are winging this way.

Soon, we Floridians will get to argue: Dunkin's coffee vs. Wawa coffee. (Wawa coffee is just $1 for any size. Can DD even compete with that?!)

By next November, we too could be enjoying the Wawa Gobbler - a hoagie so legendary it has its own Facebook fan page. According to Clean Plate Charlie's Jersey-based friend, it's Thanksgiving as sandwich.

"Hot turkey, gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce on a hoagie," says Jersey Girl. "best. thing. ever. "

From the website:

We are particularly excited about the new interior and exterior design of our stores, which incorporate the best of Floridian architecture while remaining uniquely Wawa. The new stores include lots of natural lighting, red-tiled walls, a center island kitchen, and, of course, our signature touch-screens to facilitate food service ordering.

You can even check what the soup and hot hoagie of the day will be before you get there, by visiting Wawa's site and entering your zip code.

They even brought philanthropy with them through their Lend A Helping Hoagie promotion. During an Orlando location's first week, proceeds from the hoagie sales - $35,000 - went to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

So when will Wawa actually be in South Florida? We'll update you as soon as we hear back for sure. Until then, dream of hoagies and $1 coffee and live in the hope that one day it will be yours.

In the meantime, if you find yourself in central Florida, you can pay a visit to any one of these Wawa locations and see what all the hype is about. (This writer did.)

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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane