April 14, 2014 13:00 ET

Hot Coffee, Cool Thank You

Wawa Toasts Customers on 50th Anniversary Giving Away More Than 1 Million Cups of Free Coffee

WAWA, PA--(Marketwired - Apr 14, 2014) -  Wawa, Inc., today announced it will celebrate its 50th anniversary in the convenience retail space, by giving away free coffee of all sizes, all day. The giveaway will take place on its anniversary on April 16, 2014, at all of Wawa's more than 640 stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. Throughout the day, Wawa will give away more than 1 million cups of coffee to customers, thanking them for their patronage and loyalty through the years. Each year Wawa brews and serves more than 195 million cups of award-winning coffee.

"On the occasion of our 50th, we wanted to raise our cups to our customers and say 'thanks a million,' by giving away more than a million cups of their everyday-starter," said Chris Gheysens, Wawa's President and CEO. "At Wawa our coffee is one of most beloved and popular products, and this giveaway is one small way we can recognize our customers for all they have done to help us reach this incredible milestone."

Wawa coffee is a proprietary, private-label blend, available only at Wawa stores and on Since the year 2000, Wawa has served more than 1 billion cups of coffee. Within the brewed coffee market, Wawa ranks #1 in Philadelphia and #8 in share nationally. 

Wawa Coffee History
In 1975, freshly brewed coffee became available in Wawa stores because store managers wanted to save time for busy customers. When coffee was first introduced, "pour over" pots were used. Stores soon had pots of water lined up in the morning rush to accommodate customers. In 1978, the coffee program "perked up" with the introduction of the five-burner "Bun-o-Matic". This new system accessed filtered water directly and managers were able to make coffee with the flick of a switch. In the 90's, we remodeled and expanded the coffee area to separate the brewing from the customer area. The addition of the 20-ounce cup, and later the Big 24, fueled Wawa's coffee program. In 2010, Wawa embarked on a chain-wide coffee make-over, completing transforming the coffee areas in all stores with new graphics, new designs, and energy-efficient thermals to replace glass pots. In 2012, Wawa stores began offering a full-service specialty beverage area where, via touch screens, customers can order 20 hand-made varieties of lattes, hot chocolates, and more.

"Our coffee, just like associates and customers, has a unique an inspiring history," said Gheysens. "Our 50th anniversary gives a chance to reflect on the entrepreneurial spirit of our first store managers who helped make coffee a critical part of our offer, and celebrate how we have all turned a hot beverage into a way of life."

Wawa Coffee Varieties
Wawa customers enjoy more than 195 million cups of Wawa's award-winning coffee each year. It's brewed fresh daily, using Wawa's own special blend of the finest roasted coffee beans and filtered water. Wawa varieties include: Regular, Decaf, Varietals (Kona, 100% Colombian), French Vanilla, Hazelnut, and dark roast for those who prefer stronger. And now an extensive line of full-serve, built-to-order specialty beverages, including lattes, cappuccinos, hot chocolates, and more are available, through touch-screen ordering, at the food service area of all Wawa stores.

About Wawa's Commitment to Fulfilling Lives
Wawa believes that it has a role in making the world a better place. For Wawa associates, that doesn't mean simply filling customer orders -- it means fulfilling the lives that they touch every day. Beginning with its first store, Wawa has worked its way into the hearts, minds and fabric of people's lives. Wawa does it around the clock, in 3 1/2 minute doses, every day- 24/7, 365 days a year. Wawa is so committed to this concept, it has made fulfilling lives its ultimate purpose and goal -- every day. In 2014, Wawa will extend its commitment to fulfilling lives every day through several groundbreaking initiatives and announcements including: the launch of The Wawa Foundation to formalize and increase its support of charities and community programs; the celebration of its 50th anniversary in the convenience industry; the release of its first book authored by former President & CEO Howard Stoeckel entitled, The Wawa Way: How a funny name and six core values revolutionized convenience; and through the opening of 45 new Wawa stores dedicated to enhancing Wawa's presence in our markets and bringing the Wawa experience to more people.

About Wawa, Inc.
Wawa, Inc., a privately held company, began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. Toward the end of the 19th Century, owner George Wood took an interest in dairy farming and the family began a small processing plant in Wawa, Pa, in 1902. The milk business was a huge success, due to its quality, cleanliness and "certified" process. As home delivery of milk declined in the early 1960's, Grahame Wood, George's grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 as an outlet for dairy products. Today, Wawa is your all day, every day stop for fresh, built-to-order foods, beverages, coffee, fuel services, and surcharge-free ATM's. A chain of more than 640 convenience retail stores (over 365 offering gasoline), Wawa stores are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and Central Florida. The stores offer a large fresh food service selection, including Wawa brands such as built-to-order hoagies, freshly-brewed coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches, built-to-order Specialty Beverages, and an assortment of soups, sides and snacks.

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