For millions of people in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Florida, the convenience store known as Wawa is a thing of fierce devotion. The vast majority of the more than 600 locations are open 24/7, and the little touches, like surcharge-free ATMs, self-serve computer touch screens for food orders, made-to-order sandwiches, and expansive coffee bars, turn visitors into regulars. But we bet that there are some things you didn’t know about Wawa; read on for six of them.
It Owes Its Success to Milk
In 1890, a businessman named George Wood imported cows from Britain, purchased 1,000 acres of land, and founded Wawa Dairy Farm. In an era when milk was often contaminated and could lead to sickness, Wood hired doctors to certify that his milk was safe for consumption, leading to a boom in business. When home milk delivery started to fade in the 1960s, the company opened markets to sell its milk, along with other foods and beverages.
It’s Named After the Location of Its First Dairy Farm
Wood set up his operation in the then-recently named town of Wawa, Pennsylvania, located in the far southeastern corner of the state.
There’s a Reason Behind the Goose Logo
The town itself was named after an estate built in the area by a man named Edward Worth; he named the estate Wawa. Wawa is the Ojibwe word for “wild goose,” which were plentiful in the area. The town was named after the estate in 1884.
It’s a Family-Run Business
The Wood family is still very active in the company, and continue to be major shareholders. Many employees of the company also own a large amount of the company’s stock, however.
The Company Is a Serious Landowner
At its peak, the company owned nearly 1,000 acres of land in Pennsylvania. They sold 40 acres to the Franklin Mint in 1964, and in 1989 they sold 25 acres to a retirement complex. They own about 725 acres of land today in total.
There Was Once a Wawa Credit Card
JP Morgan Chase launched a Wawa-branded Visa credit card in 2005. They ceased issuing new cards in December 2007, however, and the entire program was cancelled in 2010.