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PINELLAS PARK, Fla. -- Wawa Inc. will open its first Tampa-area store on Friday, but the convenience store retailer is giving some VIPs a sneak peek into its latest Florida store a day early.
The new Pinellas Park Wawa is located at 3101 Gandy Blvd. at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Gandy. It will be the first of five Wawa convenience stores to open in the Tampa area over the next five weeks.
To celebrate Wawa's expansion throughout central Florida, the company is holding a VIP Store Tour and Luncheon Preview the day before the store opens to the public. At the event, Pinellas Park Mayor Sandra Bradbury and Wawa officials will discuss expansion plans. They will also highlight Wawa's expected economic impact in the Tampa area, as well as announce the company's partnership with Feeding America Tampa Bay to help fight hunger.
Wawa has committed to donating a portion of hoagie sales from these first five Tampa-area stores -- up to $5,000 per store -- to Feeding America Tampa Bay, with the goal of raising and donate $25,000 in five weeks. The Pennsylvania-based retailer is also forming a partnership with All Children's Hospital to sponsor Nurse Appreciation Week activities.
Attendees at Thursday's event will be able to take a private tour of the store and its facilities; watch Wawa associates build the ceremonial first hoagie and present it to a representative from Feeding America Tampa Bay; sample Wawa's signature products, handed out by Wawa chefs; listen to Wawa Vice President of Store Operations Sal Mattera speak about expansion plans and Wawa's culture; and speak one on one with Wawa officials including President and CEO Chris Gheysens.
Wawa held a similar VIP preview event in July when it opened its first Orlando store, which was also the company's first-ever store in the Sunshine State.