WARETOWN, NJ - Picking up coffee at the local Wawa just changed for some local Waretown residents. Meanwhile, some aren’t taking lightly the company’s decision to close down their “little slice of heaven.”

In a letter released by Wawa, corporate leaders thanked the Waretown community for 26 wonderful years of patronage. They cited weather-related water and structural damages to the store as leading to the close.

“After careful and extensive evaluation of repairs needed or the possibility of expansion, we’ve determined that neither option is feasible here.”

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Social media went haywire with locals complaining about the Waretown Wawa closing up shop. In the meantime, an online petition has already gained a number of signatures asking the company to reconsider its decision and rebuild.

“This Wawa is the central hub for all of us especially our Police, Firefighters EMT's and even teachers from the buildings almost directly next to this location. “implores the initiator of the petition, Heather Price.

According to Price, she was motivated to start the petition because of the inconvenience it caused her mom in particular. "We live right near the Waretown Wawa," shared the long time Waretown resident. "My mother leaves for work at 2am and now has to go all the way to Lanoka Harbor to get her coffee. This makes no sense."

"Barnegat has its clock and its gazebo," continued Price. "We had our Wawa. It seems that everyone stopped at this Wawa and the company asking us to go to other towns just isn't an option."

While signing the online plea for reconsideration, many added their own comments. At least one cited the inconvenience of going to neighboring towns. Others spoke of the Wawa as more than a store and as a social place.

Heather Bradley signed the petition and refers to herself as a "Waretown lifer."  She's always thought of the now closed Wawa as a staple to the community.  "It's convenient when you need something fast," says Bradley. "It's also a meeting place where you see friends every day from our town."

Bradley continues, "Small towns always stick together and Waretown is one of them. Everyone is a familiar face, including the Wawa staff," she says. "It's like a huge family."

Calls for comment from Wawa headquarters were not immediately returned.

Stephanie A. Faughnan is a local journalist and Director of Writefully Inspired, a professional writing and resume service. Feel free to contact her at sfaughnan@tapinto.net.