Local officials and community members joined Wawa executives at the grand opening of the company’s first Tampa Bay location, 3101 Gandy Blvd., Pinellas Park, on Feb. 8.
PINELLAS PARK – Wawa Inc., a popular convenience store and gas station chain from the Mid-Atlantic region, has entered the Tampa Bay market. Its first location in the area, 3101 Gandy Blvd., Pinellas Park, opened Feb. 8.
This location is the first of five new regional stores Wawa plans to open in as many weeks. Other upcoming locations include Tampa and Port Richey, and two in New Port Richey. The chain hopes to open 100 stores in Florida within five years.
Grand opening festivities included a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a presentation highlighting Wawa’s milestones and “Hoagies for Heroes,” a charitable hoagie-building competition between the Pinellas Park Police and the Pinellas Park Fire Departments. Many local officials, including members of the Pinellas Park City Council, Sen. Jack Latvala, and former Gov. Bob Martinez were on hand.
Named after the Native American word for Canadian geese, Wawa is not your average gas station. Inside, customers will find a made-to-order sandwich bar where they can utilize a touch-screen menu to place their specialized orders. The company likens their food items to Panera Bread. There’s also a café, where you can opt for the self-serve coffee bar or order espresso drinks.
Wawa has more than 600 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, and now Florida.