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Friday, July 12, 2024

Wawa flies into the Circle City

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Wawa. What does it mean? According to the Ojibwe Native Americans, it means “wild goose.” According to Hoosiers, it’s the name of the newest convivence store chain that just landed all the way from the East coast.

With more than 1,000 locations nationwide, Wawa is known for its food, drinks, fueling stations and customer service. The first of the announced 60 stores in Indiana broke ground on June 6 at East 96th Street and Delegates Row.

Carmen Reyes, the Wawa area manager, greeted guests with enthusiasm.

“Some of our customers say that, to them, Wawa means family, friends, community and, of course, love,” Reyes said.

The 96th Street Wawa location is slated to open in the second quarter of 2025. By mid-2025, Wawa plans to open 16 stores around central Indiana, with the six confirmed locations so far:

  • 3835 E. 96th St. Indianapolis, IN
  • 5550 W. 86th St. Indianapolis, IN
  • 2701 Westfield Road, Noblesville, IN
  • 8 W. 176th St. Westfield, IN
  • 60 E. Garner Road, Brownsburg, IN
  • 5957 W. US Highway 40, Cumberland, IN
  • 1354 Veterans Parkway, Clarksville, IN

The June 6 event featured Wawa’s signature treats, sandwiches, a selection of refreshments, free t-shirts and pictures with Wawa’s mascot, Wally Goose.

“We are thrilled to kick off construction and the groundbreaking of one of our first stores here in Indianapolis,” said John Poplawski, vice president of real estate for Wawa.

A large banner with Wawa’s sign, custom Wawa hard hats and a plane flying a Wawa banner greeted attendees. Members from both the corporate and local team were stationed at refreshment tables to answer questions and speak about the excitement they have for their Hoosier endeavors.

“We think this is the next milestone in our growth plan by breaking ground here in Indianapolis,” Poplawski said.

Additionally, Wawa announced partnerships with nonprofits to mark the beginning of the Indiana stores, including a $10,000 grant awarded to Gleaners Food Bank from The Wawa Foundation Fly Beyond Fund. The foundation works to help solve food insecurity and prevent food deserts.

The company’s plans in Indiana are estimated to create hundreds of jobs and invest millions of dollars into the local economy, according to Wawa leadership. Poplawski cited more than $7.5 million being invested into each store.

Each store will have 30-45 estimated employees with medical benefits, and the construction will create more than 140 local contracting jobs. Local suppliers and vendors are also a large part of the Wawa stores construction.

Additionally, the store leadership maintains that Wawa’s goods and customer service are unlike any other competitors and will bring a unique convenience store experience to Hoosiers.

“At the end of the day, we promise that we commit to bring that culture (of Wawa) and impact here, plus so much more,” Reyes said.

Contact Staff Writer Hanna Rauworth at 317-762-7854 or follow her on Instagram at @hanna.rauworth.

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