Wawa opens 1st Florida store to public

Northeastern convenience store giant moves in on competitors

Published On: Jul 17 2012 06:42:12 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 18 2012 01:07:41 PM EDT

Central Florida shoppers will get to choose from one more convenience store with the opening of Wawa. The popular northeastern convenience store officially opened to the public on Wednesday.

The new 6,000 square foot store is located at the intersection of Central Florida Parkway and International Drive in Orlando. Managers say it has more than 1,000 soft drink and coffee combinations, fresh fruits and vegetables, alcohol and a full service sandwich bar where customers can get made to order sandwiches.

Dozens of people lined up before sunrise Wednesday for its grand opening. One man said he had the day off planned for about six months to make sure he could get a taste of the popular Northeastern store.

With an introduction by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and a speech by company president Howard Stoeckel, convenience store giant Wawa celebrated their first ever Florida store on Tuesday.

"We want to become part of our customers daily routines and we want to win their business one transaction at a time," said Stoeckel.

Stoeckel says Wawa will be moving to Florida in a big way. Five stores will be open in the next five weeks and more than 100 stores will be open in the next five years.

Other stores are also making a big move into the Orlando Area though. Racetrac is opening a series of their new "RT6K" stores in the coming months. One of the stores at 4541 Pleasant Hill Road in Kissimmee will open on Thursday and there's already plans to open eight more.

A Wawa will be opening in mid-August on John Young Parkway.

The new Racetrac stores will feature a walk-in beer cooler, Yogurt Bar, and free Wi-Fi for customers.