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    Wawa Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Its Sunshine State Entry

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Time certainly flies. One year ago, Wawa Inc. opened the doors of its first Florida store and began its trek across the Sunshine State.

    To mark the first anniversary of that first convenience store at the intersection of Central Florida Parkway and International Drive in Orlando, the Pennsylvania-based retailer is celebrating with free coffee at the location as a way to say "thank you" to its customers.

    In addition to reaching the one-year mark in Orlando, Wawa has surpassed the 1,000-employee mark in Florida.

    "We couldn't be more thankful to our new Florida friends and neighbors for the warm reception we've received during our first year," said Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens. "Since the first store opened, we've invested in more than 22 stores to date; we are on track to open another 25 in 2014; we've created more than 1,000 new jobs; we've used 1.5 million pounds of ice in our smoothies; and built enough hoagies to stretch to Tampa and back three times."

    The chief executive noted that this anniversary event is a wonderful way to celebrate Wawa's first year in the state and thank its customers -- as well as its associates. "The new members of our Wawa family who have made us better than ever. We couldn't have done this without them," he added.

    Wawa's first Florida store was just the beginning, as the retailer went on to open five locations in the greater Orlando area in five weeks. To date, Wawa operates 14 convenience stores in the Orlando market and eight in the greater Tampa Bay market.

    The company plans to open at least 12 more stores by the end of this year.

    In 2014, Wawa plans to open 14 stores in the Tampa Bay market and 11 stores in the greater Orlando market.

    Tracking the past 12 months by the numbers, Wawa has sold enough coffee in Florida to fill 15 swimming pools; used enough bananas in smoothies to span 35 miles; topped beverages with 6,500 gallons of whipped cream; used 1.3 million pounds of ice; used 130,000 pounds of lettuce; and hosted more than 20 Hoagies for Heroes competitions between local fire and police departments to support local charities.

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