Wawa’s Corporate Chef on the New Food She Can’t Wait to Share With Customers
Farley Kaiser has worked with Wawa’s 840 locations for the past two years.
Before I started at Wawa, I was … a culinary-school teacher, and then corporate chef at Buffalo Wild Wings in Minneapolis. I’ve been at Wawa for two years this month.
Wawa is making a push for healthier foods — like grain bowls — because … consumers want cleaner, quality ingredients. That’s not going away, and we want to make sure we hear them.
When people say Wawa hoagies aren’t what they used to be … we take it to heart. But in general, whenever we launch something, the next conversation is: How do we make that better?
One new food I’m excited to share with our customers is … a cheeseburger quesadilla. It’s a new take, with beef, American and cheddar cheeses, pickles, mustard and ketchup, all toasted in a flour tortilla. I think it’s the pickles that make it magical.
The moment I realized Wawa was a cultural phenomenon … was when someone asked for a photo. I’m on the board of an international corporate chefs association, and at a meeting, one of the other chefs came up to me and said, ‘This is going to sound really creepy, but can I take a selfie with you, because my guys back at Firebirds in Florida are going to freak out when they find out I was hanging out with the chef from Wawa.’ At that point, it clicked.
Published as “Breaking Bread With … Farley Kaiser” in the June 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.