By Tamas Mondovics
Brandon area residents who have not yet had the chance to take part in what many have come to call, “the Wawa experience” will now have no reason for missing out. The food market has just celebrated a grand opening of its newest Tampa store and is now well on its way to completing three more brand new markets in the Brandon area.
“2014 is a milestone year for us at Wawa as we opened 45 new stores and celebrated our 50th anniversary in retail,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa’s President and CEO.
According to Wawa officials, the first area store to open is located on the corner of Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico, slated for this summer closely followed by two more; one on State Rd. 60, and St. Cloud and another on US 301 and Causeway, both set to open by the end of the year.
At the current rate, Wawa will have 56 stores in Florida, 32 in Orlando and 24 in Tampa before the year is up.
“The new stores will each employ more than 35 associates, all of whom are new positions brought to the area through the development of the stores,” said Wawa Public Relations Coordinator, Colleen Labik. “Associates in these full and part-time positions will not only receive competitive salaries and health benefits, but will have the opportunity to be enrolled in Wawa’s employee stock ownership plan.”
The food market offers a large fresh food service selection, including Wawa brands such as built-to-order hoagies, freshly-brewed coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches, built-to-order Specialty Beverages and an assortment of soups, sides and snacks.
Being famous for its built-to-order hoagies, Wawa hosted a grand opening coupled with a hoagie building contest entitled “Finest vs. Bravest,” as members of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office face off against the Hillsborough Fire Rescue. During the contest each team is challenged to see who can build the most hoagies in three minutes in the traditional Wawa way. The event benefits both teams’ charity of choice with the most recent resulting in $1,000 for each team donated to the Lynn Sowers Foundation.
For more information about Wawa, visit www.wawa.com.