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Wawa is not just a gas station and convenience store. It’s a vibe. That’s why people get so psyched when they hear one is opening in town. According to Food and Wine, “Wawa isn’t just a convenience store, it’s a lifestyle” and a “Philadelphia-area institution” known to inspire “fanaticism.” The Lehigh Valley is about to live that Wawa life in Upper Saucon Township when their new Wawa location opens up in the winter of 2022.
The 5,585 sq. ft. According to Lehigh Valley Live, Wawa at Route 309 and Passer Road is currently under construction and will have double door access in the front and back of the building, eight gas pumps, and a 75-space parking lot. The Wawa is a part of a piece of land being developed by Provco Pineville Acquisitions. The property also includes a McDonald’s, which is being built by James McIntrye, who will also run it as his fifth McDonald’s franchise location. Their 3,045 sq. ft. McDonald’s will have a 41 space parking lot that shares the Wawa’s lot.
The development required the razing of an apartment building, four homes, a furniture store, and an antique business. Provco Pineville is also expected to fund $1.3 million in road safety improvements in the area, including new turning lanes and traffic lights. Joe Botta of Provco Pineville Acquisitions has developed about 20 new Wawa locations over the last decade.
Taste of Home reports that the first Wawa was opened as an iron foundry in 1803, then became a dairy processing plant in Wawa, Pennsylvania, in 1902. The first Wawa Food Market opened in 1964 in Folsom, Pennsylvania. They now have more than 750 convenience stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Florida. The Mercury calls Wawa “a mid-Atlantic institution that’s as familiar to the Pennsylvania landscape as scrapple and Tastykakes.”
“We opened in 1964, the same week that the Mustang rolled off the lines for the first time,” former Wawa Executive Vice President Don Price told The Mercury. “And we said it was going to be different. It would be clean, have reasonable prices, and be open late, so if you wanted something fresh or perishable, you could have it in a friendly atmosphere with someone who cared about the neighborhood and cared about the relationship.”
Not only is Wawa a 24-7 gas station and convenience store with free ATMs, but it’s a place to grab a decent sandwich at a fair price, as well as breakfast foods, salads, ice cream, healthy and non-healthy snacks, and more. Food & Wine reports that “the food is actually really good,” “the breakfast is strangely addictive,” and that “the coffee can be spectacular.” There must be some truth to it because Wawa actually offers catering too.