Announces company’s expansion ahead of schedule with 2,100 jobs already created

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – As part of his domestic business development mission in Pennsylvania, Governor Rick Scott today met with Chris Gheysens, President and CEO of Wawa Inc. to discuss their continued growth across Florida and to announce that Wawa’s 2015 expansion plans in Florida are ahead of schedule.

Governor Scott said, “Today, we met with Wawa executives to discuss all of the great things Florida has to offer their company and to congratulate them on their expansion in the Sunshine State. We heard directly from company leadership that, compared to other states, they’re finding more and more opportunities in Florida because of our efficient permitting processes. Because we are focused on eliminating redundant regulations, we’ve made Florida more competitive for attracting jobs like those at Wawa.  I look forward to continuing to meet with more companies in Pennsylvania to highlight all of the great things we are doing in Florida.”

The company has opened 61 stores in Florida and created more than 2,100 jobs since 2012. Wawa will open its first store in Southwest Florida, with the grand opening of three new stores in Fort Myers on April 23.Throughout 2015 and 2016, Wawa plans to open 25 stores per year spread throughout the Orlando, Tampa, Southwest Coast and Daytona markets. Wawa also plans to break ground in Broward and Palm Beach Counties in 2016.  Each new Wawa store will create more than 40 new jobs for local families.

“On September 18, 2014 we celebrated the grand opening of our 50th store in Florida—a very exciting milestone considering we opened our first store in Florida in July of 2012 and quickly became a staple in the Central Florida community,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa’s President and CEO. “It’s thrilling to see the number of stores, locations and communities we are entering grow so quickly, but the numbers we are most proud of are the number of jobs we’ve created and the number of community organizations we’ve helped.  We are committed to continuing to invest and innovate for our Florida friends and neighbors, as part of our core purpose to fulfill customers’ lives, every day.
It’s hard to believe just two years ago we were the new kids on the block in Orlando, and now Florida is not only a place that feels like a home, but such a critical piece to our company’s overall success.  In fact, the incredible growth and reception we’ve had in the Sunshine State has allowed us to not only expand and innovate here in Florida, but revitalize and refresh in our home market. We are so grateful to all our Florida customers’ and partners, and look forward to delighting them in our stores in many of our new locations in the future!”

Since opening its first store in Orlando in 2012, Wawa has invested more than $300 million in the greater Florida community, and invested $5-6 million in each Wawa store built. Wawa has also invested in Florida communities through contributing more than $1 million to local charities and won the 2013 Beautification Award for District 1 in Orlando for its commitment to enhancing the Orlando community through litter prevention, waste reduction and recycling, and beautification.

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About Wawa, Inc. – Wawa, Inc., a privately held company, began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey.  Toward the end of the 19th Century, owner George Wood took an interest in dairy farming and the family began a small processing plant in Wawa, PA in 1902.  The milk business was a huge success, due to its quality, cleanliness and “certified” process.  As home delivery of milk declined in the early 1960’s, Grahame Wood, George’s grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 as an outlet for dairy products.  Today, Wawa is your all day, every day stop for fresh, built-to-order foods, beverages, coffee, fuel services, and surcharge-free ATM’s. The stores offer 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 A chain of over 680 convenience retail stores (420 offering gasoline), Wawa stores are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.

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