“We are thrilled to spread our wings into northern New Jersey and to celebrate this exciting occasion with honored friends and guests,” says Wawa’s vice president of store operations.
Wawa Inc. has announced a milestone in its company’s history—the grand opening of its most northern-located store, signifying Wawa’s first store in Hudson County, N.J.
Located at 200 Harrison Avenue in Kearny, N.J., this location is the first of three Wawa stores to open in the first half of 2013 in the North Jersey region. During this landmark grand opening event, Wawa will be joined by local officials, heroes, community members and West Hudson Arts & Theater Company (W.H.A.T.) singers and dancers for a ribbon cutting ceremony, parade of Wawa’s history and values, sampling of Wawa products, interpretive dance performance by the W.H.A.T. and a charitable hoagie building competition featuring Kearny Firefighters versus Kearny Police Officers.
The grand opening will be held on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 at 10 a.m., and will also officially kick off Wawa’s partnership with three local organizations:
· Community FoodBank of NJ: Wawa has committed to donating a portion of hoagie sales during the first week, up to $5,000, to help fight hunger in the state.
· West Hudson Arts & Theater Company (W.H.A.T.): Wawa will make a contribution for a portion of every ticket sold in 2013 (up to $1,500) to the W.H.A.T. Scholarship fund for area high school students.
· Literacy Volunteers of West Hudson: Wawa is making a contribution to help increase basic English literacy skills among adults.
“We are thrilled to spread our wings into northern New Jersey and to celebrate this exciting occasion with honored friends and guests. We have a deeply rooted history in New Jersey and are ecstatic to soon provide all New Jersey residents with our unique brand of appetizing convenience,” said Sal Mattera, Wawa’s vice president of store operations. “As in all communities we join, we are committed to being a good neighbor to the North Jersey community, and our partnerships with three outstanding local organizations are our way of supporting the people of the Kearny and Hudson County communities and the causes near and dear to their hearts.”
Grand Opening Event Details
Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos will join Wawa and local officials, Wawa’s Mascots Wally Goose & Shorti, Wawa associates and community members for the milestone occasion. The event will proceed as follows:
· The grand opening will kick off with a soloist from the W.H.A.T. Community Chorus performing the national anthem.
· Wawa’s Director of Store Operations Jim Shortall, will then take center stage, discussing Wawa’s culture and values.
· Shortall will introduce the Wawa Through the Ages parade, which visually highlights Wawa’s key milestones. The parade features associates wearing oversized foam-board photos of everything from Wawa’s famous milk man, to everyone’s favorite hoagies, to the evolution of coffee cups.
· Mattera will then speak about this milestone occasion, and the expected local and community impact Wawa hopes to have throughout North Jersey.
· Kearny Mayor Albertos Santos will speak about the significance of Wawa to the local community.
· A dancer from the W.H.A.T. Education Department will perform an interpretive dance choreographed to show what Wawa’s new store and partnership mean to Kearny and the theater company.
“For years, it’s been a dream of ours to expand into North Jersey, and we couldn’t be happier to meet our new North Jersey family and simplify their lives on a daily basis!” said Mattera. “As we open more locations over the next few months and coming years, it’s our hope for every New Jersey resident to call Wawa a member of their own community that provides support for community organizations and the unprecedented level of convenience and fresh and inviting food and beverage offer our customers rely on us for.”
Hoagies for Heroes Competition
The event will conclude with a charitable Bravest vs. the Finest hoagie building competition, as the Kearny Fire Department and Kearny Police Department face off in a battle of bravery, skill and sandwich-making expertise.
Each team will be challenged to see who can build the most hoagies in three minutes in the traditional Wawa way.
Wawa will conclude the Hoagies for Heroes competitions by presenting checks to the charities of each of the heroes’ choices.
North Jersey Expansion Plans
After Wawa’s first grand opening on in Northern Jersey, Wawa will continue to expand in the North Jersey market over the next six months, with two additional stores located in Woodbridge and Elizabeth.
Wawa will begin to enter additional Northern North Jersey counties in 2014 and 2015, with the northern-most store to be located in Bergen County. Throughout the North Jersey market, Wawa plans to open more than 10 stores by the end of 2015, with five new stores opening in both 2014 and 2015.
The new stores will each employ nearly 60 associates, all of which are new positions brought to the area through the development of the stores. Associates in these full and part-time positions will not only receive competitive salaries and health benefits but will have the opportunity to be enrolled in Wawa’s employee stock ownership plan.