SPRINGFIELD, NJ — Yesterday morning, with a snip of ceremonial ribbon and a brief moment of fanfare, the Wawa chain of convenience stores opened up its 900th location, on Morris Turnpike in Springfield, NJ.
It had been a moment months in the making for Wawa, the township, and a horde of hungry residents, who had been eagerly awaiting updates in every phase of construction. A number of factors had led to the delay, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic.
But eventually the store did open. The moment was even marked by Governor Phil Murphy, who posted about the visit on his social media channels:
Following the grand opening, TAPinto Springfield spoke with Mayor Chris Capodice about the new business on the block. Capodice was over the moon about the grand opening, and was excited to have the store take root in Springfield.
"It's an incredible feeling to have a marquee organization like Wawa decide to not only take up residence in our community, but having such a landmark for their company," Capodice said. "Deciding to choose our community makes it that much more special."
"I went to the store twice today, and I'm going to go back later for gas," he added. "I'm pretty excited about it."
Another thing Capodice noted was the benefit of having a marquee store to greet residents and visitors alike as they came into town, something that they have not had in years past.
The feeling was mutual on the Wawa side as well. Jenny Toledo, the general manager of the store said that while there had been some setbacks, the grand opening was an exciting step forward.
"It's been a challenging few months," Toledo said. "We're really excited to be here [and be] part of the community. We've had great support from the community, and it's nice to be here at a time where community means so much. And we're able to be here and serve the public."
She also noted that the company had made an effort to not only open in town, but to begin integrating its way into Springfield's fabric as well.
'We made it a point to get into the community, learn about the community,' Toledo said. "We've hired a lot of the associates that are in the store [that] are part of the community, so we wanted to make sure that we're integrating who Wawa is with our neighbors."