Wawa Inc. has announced a milestone in its company’s history—the grand opening of its newest northern New Jersey store, signifying Wawa’s first store in Bergen County, N.J.
Throughout the North Jersey market, Wawa plans to have more than 10 stores by the end of 2015.
Located at 150 Essex Street in Lodi, N.J., this newest location is the third Wawa store to open in 2013 in the North Jersey region. As an exciting historic first for both Wawa and New Jersey, the new Wawa store will feature Wawa’s first self-serve lottery terminal in the state of New Jersey.
During this landmark grand opening event, Wawa will be joined by local officials, heroes, charitable partners, and community members for a ribbon cutting ceremony, parade of Wawa’s history and values, sampling of Wawa products, and an exciting charitable hoagie building competition featuring Lodi Firefighters, Lodi Police Officers, and Lodi EMT’s.
The grand opening celebration will be held on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 at 10 a.m., and will continue Wawa’s partnership with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey through Wawa’s Lending a Helping Hoagie Campaign.
As Wawa opens each new store in northern New Jersey, they have committed to donating a portion of hoagie sales for the first Northern New Jersey stores (up to $5,000 per store) to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, which will be earmarked for the Kids’ Café program. Wawa has also committed to donating $1,000 to two local Lodi food pantries to help them restock before the holidays and further help fight hunger in the community.
“We couldn’t be more passionate about helping end hunger with our new beginnings in Lodi,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa’s president and CEO. “As we continue our expansion throughout the Northern Jersey market it’s exciting to not only bring our unique brand of appetizing convenience throughout the state and to build on our community partnerships, but to continue to innovate and evolve with offerings such as selling lottery products. For our North Jersey customers, we are excited to “give their dreams a chance.”
The Lodi store will be the first Wawa in New Jersey to offer lottery tickets to customers for all lottery games including: Powerball, Mega Millions, and Instant Tickets. Wawa has self service lottery machines in all 242 Pennsylvania and all 60 Virginia stores. During the past year in Virginia and Pennsylvania, contributions, as a result of ticket sales in Wawa stores, to Virginia education and older
Pennsylvanians have reached over $37.2 million through lottery sales. In New Jersey, the lottery proceeds will benefit Education and other Institutions. Wawa will install self-service lottery terminals in four additional new Wawa stores and 20 existing stores in New Jersey by year end with a full roll-out statewide scheduled for 2014.
Grand Opening Event Details
Lodi Mayor Marc Schrieks 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:
· Wawa’s Director of Store Operations, Jim Shortall, will then take center stage, discussing Wawa’s culture and values.
· Wawa 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.
· Wawa’s Vice President of Store Operations, Sal Mattera, will then speak about this milestone occasion, and the expected local and community impact Wawa hopes to have throughout North Jersey.
· Lodi Mayor Marc Schrieks will speak about the significance of Wawa to the local community.
“Jersey is our home market, and it’s been amazing to see how quickly northern New Jersey residents have come to rely on us to simplify their lives and become their home away from home,” said Mattera. “We couldn’t be more excited to expand into Lodi with new innovations for the state of New Jersey, and to continue our journey North with the upcoming opening of our Avenel store in November.”
Hoagies for Heroes Competition
The event will conclude with a charitable Hoagies for Heroes Contest as the Lodi Fire Department, Lodi Police Department and Lodi EMT’s 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 for $1,000 to the charities of each of the heroes’ choices. The fire department will be building on behalf of funds for new fire equipment, the police department will be building on behalf of the Junior Police Academy, and the EMT’s will be building on behalf of funds for new ambulance medical supplies.
North Jersey Expansion Plans
This past January, Wawa opened its first Hudson County, N.J. store in Kearny N.J., its first store in Elizabeth in April, and now Lodi and Avenel by year’s-end. Wawa will begin to enter additional Northern North Jersey counties in 2014 and 2015.
Throughout the North Jersey market, Wawa plans to have more than 10 stores by the end of 2015, focusing on new market areas north of the Raritan River, including two additional stores in Bergen County in 2014—in Hackensack and Garfield.
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.
Wawa operates more than 625 convenience retail stores (over 300 offering gasoline), in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and central Florida.