Wawa Craze

Morgan Tencza

This year, for the first time in its history, a convenience store won the best sandwich shop in Market Force Information’s annual consumer study. The study had over 11,000 consumers vote for their favorite chains, according to Business Insider.

Though only represented in six states and Washington D.C., Wawa was voted America’s favorite quick-service sandwich shop, with 64 percent in overall best sandwich rankings. Categories consisted of overall value, speed of service, food quality and cleanliness. Wawa’s top competitors were Firehouse Subs (who had been the previous number one spot), Jersey Mike’s and Subway.

Wawa was not only ranked number one in full sandwich rankings, it also came up on top with value for money spent.

If you haven’t heard of Wawa, then you must not be from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, D.C., Virginia or Florida, since those are the only states where Wawa Food Mart can be found.

The first Wawa Food Mart opened its doors in 1964 to sell dairy products the company had been making on its dairy farm since 1902. The name “Wawa” comes from the town, Wawa, Pennsylvania, where the dairy farm first started. Wawa is also a Native American name for a bird that lived in the Delaware Valley, according to the Wawa Inc. webpage.

Inside Wawa stores are options for made-to-order deli sandwiches, freshly brewed coffee and snacks galore. Many newly-built Wawas come alongside a gas station as well.

Nowadays, Wawa is a convenience store that is more valuable for its regular customers. For sophomore psychology and sociology double major Jamie Ackerman, Wawa is “home.”

Wawa first started selling hoagies in 1972, but they did not start the made-to-order hoagie service until 1984 after it already had over 200 stores, according to Wawa.com.

Wawa’s Hoagiefest is a time during the summer where all classic-sized (10-inch) hoagies are $4.99; which is freshman psychology major Nathan Crystal’s favorite thing about Wawa.

“I would say I go twice a month only because it’s not that close to me,” Crystal said. “But Hoagiefest, gotta love that.”

Wawa is best known for its hoagies, but it also has customizable mac and cheeses, salads, breakfast sandwiches and coffee creations. Its coffee is almost as popular as its hoagies. For freshman occupational therapy major Shannon Cullen, coffee is Wawa’s selling point.

“I go about everyday [when home] because I get coffee,” Cullen said.

Since Quinnipiac students reside in over 30 states, only some know of Wawa. Those who know of the convenience store had a lot to say about the news of Wawa’s success. Students had mixed emotions when it came to this situation. Ackerman was very enthusiastic to hear of Wawa’s win.

“They’re goddamn right,” Ackerman said. “I think [Wawa is] deserving because they have more than just sandwiches, but their sandwiches in general are great. They do hot, they do cold. I don’t know how fresh everything is, but it does taste fresh and that’s nice.”

Ackerman was very adamant of Wawa’s success, saying, “they’re really quick and God, they just taste good. You see them make the bread and it’s all warm and [the oven] does the little beeping dance so that’s always just a fun thing while waiting.”

Junior business major Johnny Spade was also ecstatic to hear the news of Wawa winning best sandwich shop.

“It’s very good to hear that a place I go to a lot is number one in the country,” Spade said. “They put out so many sandwiches and [people] always have something good to say about them and they are so customizable.”

On the other hand, senior psychology major Angel Pascale had a different opinion about Wawa’s recognition.

“I feel like I wouldn’t expect that of all the places to get sandwiches – and I feel like they aren’t the best quality sandwiches, but I feel like because its convenient and overall you can get so many different things out there,” Pascale said.

For those Quinnipiac students who do not understand the craze of Wawa, this award was surprising.

Alexa Schmidt is a freshman health science major from Clinton, Connecticut, where the closest Wawa to her is in Northern New Jersey. For her, she was indifferent to the news.

“I can’t really have an opinion because I have never had it, so I can’t say it’s not good,” Schmidt said. When told the store was only represented in six states and D.C., she was surprised. “I guess those states really like it.”

Wawa may only be from a few states but dedicated customers and over 790 locations gave the store an edge to overcome other popular chains to be voted the best quick-service sandwich shop in America.