Original Wawa store, now 50 years old, to be replaced

Wawa's first store, on MacDade in Ridley Township. Historical photos and memorabilia are planned for the replacement store.
Wawa's first store, on MacDade in Ridley Township. Historical photos and memorabilia are planned for the replacement store. (AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer)
Posted: July 22, 2014

Nothing lasts forever.

Not even Wawa's original store, opened 50 years ago on MacDade Boulevard in the Folsom section of Ridley Township.

Wawa is in the process of obtaining permits to open a "super Wawa" a little less than a half-mile away at MacDade and Kedron Avenue, company spokeswoman Lori Bruce said Monday.

The Delaware County-based company hopes to have permits in hand by spring 2015. The opening of the new store is tentatively planned for spring 2016.

"The original store would remain open," Bruce said, "until the new store opened its doors."

The 25 to 30 employees of the original store will have jobs at the new location, which could employ as many as 30 additional people because of the expanded size and food services offered.

"That location, and the fact that it is still going to be in Ridley Township, holds a very special place in our hearts," Bruce said.

There are plans to include some historical photos and memorabilia in the replacement store to commemorate the fact that Ridley Township was the home of the first Wawa, developed as a distribution outlet for Wawa dairy products.

In 1994, Wawa opened its first "superstore," large-format locations that sell gas and offer a wider variety of fresh foods.

Since then, the privately held company has been replacing the smaller stores throughout its footprint with the new stores, typically built on multiacre parcels at large intersections.

Wawa now has more than 650 stores, mostly in the Mid-Atlantic, but with a growing presence in Florida, where it opened its first location in Orlando two years ago.

The company's Florida expansion stretched farther south last week, when it broke ground for three locations in Fort Myers, on Florida's west coast, Bruce said.

This year, Wawa is set to open 25 stores in central Florida, in the Tampa and Orlando markets, and 20 to 25 in its original Mid-Atlantic region, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, Bruce said. The Mid-Atlantic figure includes entirely new stores and relocations.

The plan to replace the Folsom location was first reported by the Delaware County Daily Times.


hbrubaker@phillynews.com

215-854-4651 @InqBrubaker

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