Wawa, a privately held, family-owned chain of 1,000 convenience retail stores currently operating in six states and Washington, D.C., officially marked the groundbreaking of its first store in North Carolina located in Kill Devil Hills. The event connected new friends, neighbors, VIP customers, local officials and charity partners with Wawa’s expansion plans and its commitment to the community.
At the Kill Devil Hills groundbreaking event, Wawa hosted more than 50 VIP customers, as well as local officials and partners, who participated in the groundbreaking and received an update on Wawa’s growth plans for the market, which included announcing the next site to go under construction this year in Halstead Blvd. & Rt. 17 in Elizabeth City. The Kill Devil Hills store is projected to open in the first quarter of 2024. Wawa is planning community partnership day events in Fall 2023 to announce initial expansion plans and timeline for the first stores in the markets of Wilson and Greenville.
In addition, attendees had the opportunity to hear about the Wawa story, Wawa’s unique offering and Wawa’s long-term commitment to North Carolina, including new community partnerships and support for local organizations. Wawa also invited guests to enjoy samples of freshly brewed coffee and other handcrafted beverages as it debuted its new Wawa Community Care Vehicle.
“It’s official – Wawa is flying to North Carolina, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share details of our exciting growth plans with our newest soon-to-be neighbors!” said Kim Dowgielewicz, Director of Store Operations for Wawa. “Our groundbreaking event gave us the opportunity to meet new faces and share with our new markets a little bit about our history and what makes Wawa such an ideal fit for communities in North Carolina. We are thrilled to be kicking off our expansion into North Carolina and can’t wait to open our doors!”
Finally, at the groundbreaking, Wawa presented $3,000 to two regional community partners – Coast Guard Foundation and Dare County Special Olympics. The funds will be used as follows:
Coast Guard Foundation
Funds will be used towards Morale and Wellness initiatives, including exercise, sports and outdoor recreation equipment and funding recreational spaces for Coast Guard members and families in Kill Devil Hills area, specifically for the Oregon Inlet unit.
Dare County Special Olympics
Funds will support the 2023 Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games which offers athletes from across North Carolina the opportunity to compete at no charge in athletics, basketball, bowling, gymnastics, powerlifting, swimming and volleyball.
About Wawa’s Growth & Expansion in North Carolina:
Over the next five years, Wawa plans to open 35 stores across North Carolina east of I-95. To build each store, we will invest approximately $6.5 million and employ, on average, 140 contractors and local partners. Once open, each store will employ, on average, 35-40 associates, creating more than 2,000 new jobs because of the expansion. Overall, Wawa projects at least 50 stores in the state over the next 8-10 years.