Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Wawa Food Market: A Local Staple
Philadelphia...1992...a young boy is riding in the car with his dad along Roosevelt Boulevard, and as they pass the Wawa at 60 mph the boy turns to his dad and asks, "Dad, what does Wawa mean?" The dad answers, "Wawa means 'goose' in Native American. Now hold my beer, I'm driving." A universal experience for every young Philadelphian, at some point you're going to wonder about the origin of the strange name of that particular convenience store. Wawa, in addition to meaning Goose in Apache, is also the name of the Pennsylvania town where the store was founded. And if you live in the 215 area code, chances are good that you visit the store frequently. I know I do, and I thought I would take a minute explain the reasons why it has been and remains the superior food market in the region.
1) Quality sandwich selection: All sandwiches are made new right in front of you with fresh ingredients, and to your specifications. Hoagies come in all styles, Italian, turkey, tuna, roast beef, you name it. They come in four sizes, junior, shorti, classic, and 2 foot. It can be toasted, and bacon can be added to any choice of sandwich. The option to add extra cheese and meat is always available. Condiments are plentiful and varied, including but not limited to Buffalo spread, Ranch spread, and Chipotle sauce. With this variety of choice, how do the makers of such delicious sandwiches keep your orders accurate? A high-tech, touch-screen computer system that is used for all orders. What a time to be alive.
2) Wawa brand drink items: Wawa offers their own brand of milk, OJ, iced teas, chilled coffee drinks, etc., so you know that your beverage is fresh and shipped locally. One suggestion- try the peach iced tea, I grew up on it. A half-gallon sustains me for an entire day at work. Recently they switched from the box-shaped plastic container to a Turkey Hill-styled container with a handle. For me, this is a step backward. With these new iced tea containers that have handles, they no longer have 'Grasp Here' stamped to the side like they used to, which I liked.
3) New products: Wawa never rests on its laurels, they always are introducing new food items to keep you on your toes. Recently added items include the Panini sandwich, the classic Philly cheesesteak, Gatorade style Wawa brand flavored sports drink, as well as Hummus and Pita bread snack packs.
4) Priced for the working man: This is self-explanatory. Wawa offers rock-bottom prices for quality foods.
5) Everything you can get at 7-11 and more: In addition to the deli section and beverage section, you can get everything from a cup of coffee, the Inquirer and the Daily News, Easy Mac, batteries, Engine Oil, Charcoal Briquettes, hotdog and hamburger buns, and all varieties of tobacco products, including Skoal 'Bandits.' One thing you won't find at Wawa? Porno mags. C'mon, this is a family food market we're talking about here.
Wawa is open 24 hours, with the deli always operating, so after a hard night of championship-level boozing you know where quality food is available. Wawa has pretty-much proliferated itself over the city, whether you are at Rhawn and the Blvd., Bustleton and the Blvd., Ridge Ave in Roxborough, Germantown and Allens Ln, 21st and Hamilton, or 38th and Walnut, as well as Old City. No matter where you are, Wawa is easily accessible to any job site, and within walking distance to even the most stumbling of drunks. Philadelphians might be interested to know that there are now Wawas in New Jersey, Delaware, rural PA, and even as far south as Maryland and Virginia. In Maryland and other hick states, you can by beer at Wawa! Holy shit. Many Wawas outside the city also have Wawa brand gas pumps, so you can gas up and hit the road with a six pack of Miller Lite (refer to earlier post on the 2-1-5 "Drinking and Driving is Bad-Ass").