When I was in college out in Western PA, the thing I missed more than anything else was Wawa. Sure I missed my family and friends, but Wawa was what I longed for more than anything else. It was the core element of my homesickness, and something I was able to bond over with my brethren who were also from this side of the state stuck in Pennsyltucky.
A few years ago I was interviewed for a book about Philadelphia written by (then) CBS 3 anchor Larry Mendte about Wawa and why Philadelphians love it so much. A few weeks later, the story broke of Mendte reading Alycia Lane’s email and the book was never released. Since then, I’ve been a lot more conscious of my own Wawa addiction.
Wawa was also the runaway winner of our “Philly’s Poppinest Jawn" contest that we did back in March/April (thanks in large part to the gang at Preston and Steve). Regardless, Wawa is a Philadelphia institution that exists in Maryland, Jersey, Virginia, and Delaware, and it is something that is indispensable to our daily existence in Philadelphia and the surrounding area.
So what makes people in Philly so obsessed with Wawa? Why do we feel as giddy as a young child on Christmas morning when we walk through the doors of our local Wawa? The answer is quite simple and it’s something I alluded to in an earlier post. It’s all about consistency. Wawa is the best friend you will ever have in this existence. It is always there; anytime day or night, Wawa is there to give you exactly what you want. Running short on gasoline? Wawa. You’re tired as hell on your way into work and need coffee? Wawa. Your sweet tooth wants some ice cream? Wawa. You just drank your face off and are craving something tasty? Wawa. While the Philadelphia area has many awesome all night diners, those require time. Wawa is also convenient. You go in, you get what you want, and you’re on your way. Everyone has a favorite item at Wawa, and when you get it and consume it, it breeds genuine happiness that can only be matched through other vices such as smoking the butt of a cigarette, a sexual orgasm, or spending time with the people you care most about.
Wawa’s roots in Philadelphia go back decades when it started as a humble dairy in Delaware County. Now the business has grown and expanded into multiple states and has a religious cult-like following. Philadelphians are a lot of things, but above all else, we are fiercely loyal. Whether it be to our favorite cheesesteak place, our sports teams, or in this case, a chain convenient store. In addition to serving quality food at reasonable prices, Wawa has not forgotten where it came from, constantly giving back to the community. They deserve high praise for that.
Wawa was always my first trip upon returning to the Philadelphia-area. Once I got past Harrisburg on the PA Turnpike on my way home from college, I knew Wawa was coming up really soon. I know I’m not alone in this. Wawa is a Philadelphia institution, and it’s an obsession for which we are proud to have.