‘Uniquely Floridian’ Design Debuts in Orlando; Additional Stores to Follow
ORLANDO, FL, Jul 19, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — New York City-based CBX has designed a fresh, new prototypical store for Wawa, Inc.’s entry into the Florida market. The first of the Wawa, Pa.-based fuel and convenience store operator’s new locations in the Sunshine State opened July 18 across the street from Sea World, with four more scheduled to open in the Orlando area over the next five weeks.
Located at the intersection of Central Florida Parkway and International Drive, Wawa’s new 4,600-square-foot Orlando store is intended to reflect the language and style associated with Floridian vernacular architecture. Exterior characteristics include pastel colors, clapboard siding, pitched roofs and front porches that reference historic south and central Florida building types. The design also pays careful attention to landscaping, allowing the fuel islands and store to blend with its verdant surroundings.
“While the new design style is uniquely Floridian, every other visual reference is recognizably Wawa,” said veteran c-store designer Joseph Bona, CBX retail division president. Travelers from the Mid-Atlantic will find the familiar “winged” gas canopy, the welcoming centrally located entry portal, ample up-front parking and the chain’s familiar Canada Goose logo. The new Florida prototype, designed by CBX with the help of local architects and engineers Cuhaci & Peterson, also features expansive windows that provide a clear view to the new interior design.
Once inside, customers will immediately notice the vibrant red-tiled wall placed front and center highlighting the new center island kitchen where fresh hoagie rolls will be baked-off daily. The food preparation area also incorporates a full-service specialty beverage section where customers can order 20+ handmade varieties of hot drinks, espressos, Chai teas and lattes, as well as more than 20 varieties of Smoothies and frozen beverages. Guests can order any specialty drink or sandwich exactly the way they want using Wawa’s touch screen system, with a series of screens prominently positioned at the kitchen/specialty beverage area’s counters.
The counter area is immediately adjoined by coffee and fountain beverage sections with a backdrop of a warmer taupe wall tile. Red drum shades are used over the coffee area and at the beverage coolers (positioned on the opposite side of the foodservice/specialty drink counter) to create a “sense of place,” Bona said.
Overall, Wawa’s new prototype is characterized by a spacious open layout, with high ceilings and abundant natural lighting contributing to the comfortable and inviting space. CBX created a new color and materials palette emphasizing natural stone, several types of tile, hard rock maple laminate (a creamy white with a reddish tinge) for modular fixtures and shelving, and gleaming copper accents. Elements were selected for their ability to contribute to the store’s warm and welcoming aura while complementing the look and feel of the Sunshine State, Bona noted.
The CBX team additionally updated in-store graphics, while Wawa’s digital signage (from Wilmington, Del.-based the Archer Group) highlights the store’s food and beverage offerings in a fun and appetizing way. “Digital signage and menu displays that allow for better time of day communication of various items will help introduce Wawa’s unique offer to this new audience,” Bona explained.
“We are thrilled to be doing business in Florida and look forward to setting a new standard of quality and appetizing convenience for Floridians,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa President.
Wawa CEO Howard Stoeckel added: “Since the opening of our first convenience store in 1964, every member of our team has dedicated themselves to living our values and to being a great neighbor and corporate citizen. We look forward to fostering new relationships in Florida and simplifying the lives of our customers.”
The new ground-up construction stores will serve as the prototypical design for Wawa’s wave of new stores planned for the Central Florida market.
Wawa currently operates nearly 600 stores in five Mid-Atlantic states, 300+ of which offer fuel. The chain is revered equally for its wide variety of coffee and smoothies, fresh salads and built-to-order hoagies, as well as its fast and friendly service, available all day, every day.
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 1960s, 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, everyday stop for fresh, built-to-order foods, beverages, coffee, fuel services, and surcharge-free ATMs. A chain of more than 595 convenience retail stores (300 offering gasoline), Wawa stores are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and by summer of 2012, 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.