Wawa Marks Official Entrance into Alabama with First Store Grand Opening in Fairhope


Local Officials and Community Members Join Wawa in Celebrating Official Entrance in Alabama with Charitable Hoagie Building Competition and Partnership to “Lend a Helping Hoagie” to Prodisee Pantry

FAIRHOPE, Ala., April 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Wawa, Inc. today announced a significant milestone in the Company’s history – the grand opening of its first Wawa store in the state of Alabama! Located in Baldwin County, at 18968 Greeno Road in Fairhope, this location is the first of three Wawa stores slated to open in the South Alabama market before the end of summer. During this historic event, Wawa was joined by local officials, heroes and community members for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, parade of Wawa history, local cheerleaders and musicians, and a “Hoagies for Heroes” charitable hoagie building competition between local fire and police teams.

The grand opening celebration also kicks off Wawa’s “Lending a Helping Hoagie” program to benefit Prodisee Pantry, a non-profit organization providing emergency food and disaster relief to Baldwin County families facing hardship stemming from job loss, medical expenses, natural disasters and other crises. Wawa has committed to donating a portion of hoagie sales from the first Baldwin County store (up to $5,000) to Prodisee Pantry to help fight hunger in the local community. In addition, The Wawa Foundation will also announce a grant to USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital to support child life programs.


Wawa Flies into Alabama

“We are excited to fly into Alabama and bring our unique combination of fresh food and beverage, convenience and service to this market for the very first time. This historic milestone kicks off our ongoing investment in Alabama as we continue our plans to build new stores and create new jobs,” said Brian Schaller, President of Wawa. “We are also thrilled about extending our commitment to being a good neighbor to Baldwin County, and our partnerships with Prodisee Pantry and USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital are examples of how we will support local causes.”

Grand Opening Details
On Thursday, April 25, at 8 a.m., Wawa’s doors opened for the first time in Alabama to welcome new friends and neighbors! The first 250 customers received special milestone Wawa t-shirts. At 10 a.m., the celebration began with local officials joining Wawa associates, Wawa’s mascots Wally Goose and Shorti, and community partners for this landmark event. The event included the Fairhope High School musical ensemble, followed by the introduction of the store team and the first official “Wawa Parade through the Ages,” which visually highlighted key milestones in Wawa history. Immediately following the parade, Wawa President Brian Schaller spoke about the significance of the Company’s first Alabama store and expected local and state impact through continuing Wawa expansion in the Baldwin County and Mobile markets. Local officials spoke about Wawa’s expansion and community initiatives, including Prodisee Pantry and the “Lending a Helping Hoagie” program and The Wawa Foundation grant to USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital. The ceremony ended with a ribbon cutting, officially marking the Company’s entrance into the state.

The event also included Alabama’s first Hoagies for Heroes charitable hoagie building contest, as members of the Fairhope Fire and Police Departments face off in a battle of bravery, skill and sandwich-making expertise. Each team was challenged to see who can build the most hoagies in three minutes in the traditional Wawa way. Wawa concluded the Hoagies for Heroes competitions by presenting checks on behalf of the winning and runner up teams, for $1,000 to the charities of their choice.

Andy Stephens will serve as General Manager of the store, leading a team of 35 associates, new positions brought to the area through the new store. Associates in these full- and part-time positions will not only receive competitive salaries and health benefits, but they will participate in Wawa’s employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Today, Wawa Associates own more than 39% of the Company through the ESOP. Associates also have access to the ingredients that build a career, including training, development, educational assistance and a flexible, welcoming environment that helps everyone soar. Wawa’s expansion plans provide opportunities to join a growing company with opportunities and a culture where associates take the lead in bringing joy to new friends and neighbors and supporting their communities through volunteering, charitable giving and events. Soar with Wawa Video Gallery.

About Wawa Expansion in Baldwin County & Mobile Markets
This summer, Wawa will open stores located at 7095 Cottage Hill Road in Mobile and 21022 Hwy 59 in Robertsdale. Construction also recently began at a fourth store located at 664 Schillinger Road. Overall, Wawa plans to open 7 to 10 stores in the Baldwin County and Mobile markets over the next 3 to 4 years. Once open, each store will employ an average of 35 associates, with Wawa expecting to create hundreds of long-term new jobs as a result of continued expansion into Baldwin County and Mobile.

About Wawa’s Core Purpose
Wawa’s core purpose is Fulfilling Lives, Every Day. It captures Wawa’s special place in the world and recognizes Wawa’s higher calling beyond convenience and satisfaction. It inspires Wawa associates to create meaningful personal connections and make a real difference in the lives of customers, communities and each other, every day.

About Wawa’s and The Wawa Foundation’s Commitment to Local Communities
Through The Wawa Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded to support Wawa’s charitable giving and philanthropic activities, Wawa and The Wawa Foundation are committed to building stronger communities, specifically in the Foundation’s three focus areas of health, hunger and everyday heroes. Visit: www.thewawafoundation.org.

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 1960s, Grahame Wood, George’s grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 in Pennsylvania as an outlet for dairy products. Today, Wawa is your all day, every day stop for freshly prepared foods, beverages, coffee, fuel services and surcharge-free ATMs. Wawa stores are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C. with nearly 1,000 locations to date. The stores offer a large fresh foodservice selection, including Wawa brands such as custom prepared hoagies, freshly-brewed coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches, hand-crafted specialty beverages, a dinner menu including burgers and pizza, an assortment of soups, sides and snacks. Forbes.com Ranks Wawa as #20 of America’s Largest Private Companies, #1 in Convenience Category for America’s Best Customer Service by Newsweek, one of Forbes 2023 America’s Best Employers for Women and New College Grads.

Contact: [email protected]

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/96c0e3e9-9538-4281-b395-53af8f8817f7

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