On December 14, Wawa Inc. opened the largest store in its history when it cut the ribbon on its 11,500 square foot convenience store at 150 S. Independence Mall W. (6th & Chestnut) in one of the most historic areas of Philadelphia.
“All of us at Wawa are incredibly proud to open our largest store ever in this historic building situated right in the heart of Philadelphia’s Historic District,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa president and CEO. “This store is truly special for all of us at Wawa. It combines Philadelphia’s unique place in history and the site of many ‘Philly firsts’ with a unique, brand-new look and the very latest Wawa offerings. We look forward to welcoming new customers into this legendary space and fulfilling the lives of Philadelphians and the millions of people exploring our city’s incredible history every year!”
The new store offers many one-of-a-kind features including an expanded bakery section which spotlights pastries, cakes, baguettes and other breads; a broader selection of cold beverages such as kombucha, nitro cold brew, Vietnamese iced coffee, and teas; and an increased variety of coffee house-style hot drinks such as americanos, troubadours and a large selection of Wawa Reserve coffee, including Direct Trade Colombia Las Orquiedas (medium roast), Sumatra Mandehling (rich roast), and Direct Trade Mokha Java (medium roast); and freshly made salads.
Also part of the new stores are seating zones flanking the entrance which provide customers with couches or café seating. both with a view to the historic downtown. Additionally, large digital screens and free Wi-Fi are featured.
The new Center City Wawa, which is located in the historic Public Ledger building, also features two murals within the store created in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts program. These murals, named “Philly Firsts,” were designed by local artists Willis Humphrey and Keir Johnston. They tell the story of Philadelphia as a city that launched and pioneered many cultural elements, cementing its place in history as a modern metropolitan that happened to be the site of many “firsts” throughout the years.
Wawa’s previous largest store opened almost two years ago to the day – a 9,200 square foot unit on 19th St. NW in Washington, DC, which was also the c-store leader’s first store in the District of Columbia (two other DC stores are planned).
Founded in 1902 as a dairy in Wawa, PA, the retailer opened its first convenience store in Folsom, PA in 1964. Currently the company operates more than 800 stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and DC. In 2012, Moreover, Wawa began a major geographical expansion into Florida opening its first store in the Sunshine State in Orlando in July. Six years later, there are more than 150 Wawa stores in Florida with an additional 15 stores planned though next spring.