The brand intends to open at least 40 stores in and around Nashville over the long term, the company announced last week, continuing an expansion that will see the Pennsylvania-born mini mart open in Southern states like Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Wawa, which might be called a gas station, grocery store, convenience store, or deli, depending on who you ask, is above all known for its hoagies — which have for some time now been available built-to-order via touchscreen, and then for its soft pretzels, coffee, and iced tea. The touchscreen menu now is quite expansive, offering custom built salads, wraps, paninis, quesadillas, and even chalupas.
The first Wawa opened in 1964 in Folsom, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, but the Wawa people now know came into existence in the 1980s when the deli counter and coffee were added (hot breakfast sandwiches and gas stations came along in 1996). The chain first expanded throughout Eastern Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley region, followed by Virginia, Florida in 2012, and Washington, D.C in 2017.
The company recently announced plans to open stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, the Florida Panhandle, and Mobile, Alabama in 2024, to be followed by the first of up to 40 Nashville locations in 2025. If you know where you’d like to see one of those 40 stores land, the company is soliciting Nashville site suggestions.