For the past 8 yrs I have been working in the Casino business surrounded by New Jersey/Pennsylvania people!
During the past 8 yrs all I have heard is that Wawa has the best coffee, Wawa has the best bread and Wawa has the best everything! lol
Of course having no idea at that time of what Wawa was, I kind of disregarded the comments until very recently when Wawa came up in conversation once again!
It so happens that Wawa is now down in Florida, with a few stores in the Orlando and Tampa area.
The story that I got from a very humorous friend and coworker, Mr. Sandy Modiano was that way back when, Wawa was like the emergency convenience store for certain areas that didn’t have access to supermarkets nearby so to them Wawa was everything!
I did a little more research and found out that Wawa started in 1803 as an iron foundry and then in 1890 George Wood started the Wawa Dairy Farm that offered a service delivering door to door milk!
In 1960 consumers started buying milk in the supermarkets making home delivery obsolete, making Grahame Wood open the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 in Pennsylvania. The Wawa Food Market stores were also part of a then-new trend in retailing, the convenience store. Open both earlier and later than traditional supermarkets, they carried other foods and beverages besides milk, as well as other items from the Wawa dairy paired with a gas station, another Seven Eleven or Racetrack option.
The chain’s name comes from the site of the company’s first milk plant and corporate headquarters in the Wawa, Pennsylvania area. The name of the town Wawa comes from the Ojibwe word for the Canada Goose (taken from “The Song of Hiawatha”). An image of a goose in flight serves as the Wawa corporate logo. It is said that the goose was chosen because the company employs the principles of teamwork, group consensus, and encouragement.
So with all of the above information in mind, I ended up going to Tampa for over a week and lo and behold if I happen to have 2 Wawa’s located close to the hotel where we are staying at and working at!
A co-worker and I embarked on our first experience of Wawa (we called it, losing our Wawa virginity)!
I bought 3 different types of coffee, ordered an Italian Sub/hoagie/sandwich or whatever you want to call it on these fancy wonderful ordering machines and even tried one of the speciality made coffee’s.
After a few tries we both determined that this must be one of those home memories that people will not let go of because it’s what they grew up with because we just didn’t get it.
Please note that I do not mean to undermine or say that Wawa’s is not good, its just that the way that everyone spoke about it made me feel I would get the wow factor when I tasted the coffee or the sandwiches but unfortunately, there was no wow to be found! I have to confess I was a bit bummed out 😦
Anyway, after sharing our comments with a few Jersey people we got some funny comments such as:
- maybe its not the same as the coffee and bread should be make with Jersey water!
- You didn’t order the right thing
- you need to go to Jersey to get it
- there is something wrong with you!
So there you have it, we tried it, we did it, we lost our Wawa Virginity!