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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Wawa held two "Community Partnership Events" to introduce itself and its products to the northwest Florida area on June 9, reported Action News Jax. This kickstarts the convenience store chain's plans to open 25 to 35 stores in the greater Jacksonville region.
One of the events took place at the Jacksonville public library and featured Wawa books, posters, food samples and a seven-foot-tall goose mascot. City Council President Greg Anderson gave a brief speech before Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens presented an overview of the company and its future plans for the area and Florida as a whole, according to the Jacksonville Business Journal.
"We've had a lot of fans reach out; we've opened stores in central Florida a few years ago; and this has been a natural progression but the fans are really excited to get their Wawa and it's coming really soon," said Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens.
Four Wawa stores have already been announced for the area:
- Monument and McCormick roads, Jacksonville;
- Beach Boulevard and Central Parkway, Jacksonville;
- Gate and Town Center parkways, Jacksonville; and
- Blanding Boulevard and Filmore Street, Orange Park
These initial stores will bring approximately 1,000 jobs to the area, according to Gheysens.
"They're not just entry-level jobs, they are roles we've seen people, with our growth, get promotions, go into managerial positions and also at Wawa, you're an owner," Gheysens said.
Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2017 for store openings in late 2017. Ten more stores in the region are expected to come in 2018.
Wawa operates more than 700 stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.