Executives at the Wawa convenience store chain announced Nov. 9 that they plan to build 120 or more c-stores in South Florida between 2017 and 2022. The first ones will open in Palm Beach and Broward counties, with Miami-Dade County to follow in 2018.
“Our plan was always to have a presence across most of the state,” Chris Gheysens, Wawa’s president and chief executive, told about 100 civic leaders Monday during an announcement at the Perez Art Museum Miami, according to a Sun Sentinel report.
At the South Florida stores, customers will be able to use a touch screen to create their meals and coffee orders, from what ingredients to add to their sandwiches to the type of milk they want in their coffee.
Florida’s first Wawa c-store opened in 2012 in Orlando. Seventy-nine have opened in the state since then, but the closest to South Florida is in Fort Myers, according to the report.
South Florida is appealing because of its dense population and transplants who know the brand from up north, Gheysens said.
Each store is expected to hire about 40 part-time and full-time employees, offering them health benefits and a chance to participate in the private company’s stock ownership plan.
Wawa Inc., is a privately held company with headquarters in Wawa, Pa. It owns and operates more than 700 convenience stores (with approximately 450 offering gasoline) in five Mid-Atlantic states and Florida.