Fifty years ago today, the first Wawa opened at the corner of MacDade Blvd. and Swarthmore Ave. in Folsom, Pennsylvania. Today, you can get free coffee at any of Wawa’s locations. (Here’s a Wawa store locator.) To celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, here are 50 things about the Philadelphia area’s favorite convenience store.
A confession: One small matter that has kept me from feeling like a complete and true Philadelphian is that I have no loyalty — none — to Wawa.
This is not entirely my fault. When I moved to the city in 2008, it was impossible to avoid the chain’s catchy commercials urging viewers to “start your day on a roll/with a Wawa breakfast hoagie.” The tune was relentlessly cheery, relentlessly overplayed and simply relentless. I think I spent November of that year singing the jingle to myself over and over again. Wawa tried to capture my mind, and it certainly did.
It was just never around to capture my heart.
Sheetz versus Wawa is an argument we’ve heard mainly between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Penn Staters. I’ve never been to a Sheetz but as Dan McQuade points out, Wawa is the convenience store of my youth, so rational thought need not apply, Wawa is better (though if Sheetz started opening Center City Philadelphia stores, my allegiance could be swayed).
Check out the New York Times for the whole story, or head to the Philly Post for McQuade’s humorous look at the Wawa versus Sheetz debate.