Wawa, the Pennsylvania-based convenience store empire with more than 800 locations, landed in Georgetown this morning, Dec. 20.
The festive debut of the store at 1222 Wisconsin Ave. NW included free coffee, giveaways, free Georgetown Cupcakes, speeches, a goose mascot (“wawa” is a Native American word for Canada goose) and a ribbon-cutting ceremony — as well as the introduction of its Bulldog Double Shot Latte, for Hoyas down the street.
To begin the program for more than 100 attendees, Miss Maryland Adrianna David sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” penned by Francis Scott Key, who, as we all know, lived in Georgetown.
Wawa President, CEO and “Lead Goose” Chris Gheysens commented on his and everyone’s excitement, noting that the store is “not your typical Wawa.” “When you’re across the street from the Apple store, you’ve got to give it your best,” he said.
Gheysens thanked the store’s design and construction team and its landlords, the Weaver and Wallshein families, longtime owners of Georgetown real estate. He said that neighborhood leaders made Wawa work “a little bit better” and “kept us honest.” As he saluted the Citizens Association of Georgetown, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E and the Georgetown Business Improvement District, Gheysens said, “Georgetown is gorgeous, historic and special.”
Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans noted that the two D.C. Wawas are in his ward and that, having attended the University of Pennsylvania, he frequented Wawa as a student. Happy to see more taxes for D.C., the chair of the Council’s finance committee added, “I’ll be spending more money at Wawa.”
Wawa Foundation President Jay Culotta presented the Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center with a $20,000 check for its upcoming surgical pavilion, specifically for a break room for nurses, saying that, for Wawa, philanthropy “is in our DNA.”
With that, there was the ribbon cutting in front of the shiny new store and then a hoagie-building contest inside for the benefit of the Capital Area Food Bank and Walking Warriors to End Breast Cancer.
The Georgetown Wawa has 50 employees and will offer free coffee through Dec. 23. Its store manager is Stephanie Doolan.
Wawa opened its first Washington, D.C., store on 19th Street last year at this time. Gheysens said other upcoming D.C. locations for the sandwich, sub (hoagie, that is) and snack shop include Tenleytown at 40th and Albemarle Streets, 14th and Irvings Streets, Vermont Avenue and M Street and 2424 18th St. NW.
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