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Maintaining the identity and aesthetic of the Wawa brand, while adapting to meet the safety codes of a completely different climate, is just one of the ways the Cuhaci Peterson was able to provide exceptional results and ignite a lasting relationship.

Bringing Wawa, the Mid-Atlantic convenience store brand, to Florida was a challenge our team was eager to tackle. From adaptations and clever solutions to strict building codes, to the introduction of outdoor seating areas, the Florida prototype store was the building block of a long-lasting partnership between Wawa and Cuhaci Peterson. Starting with a blank sheet of paper, Cuhaci Peterson worked with Wawa to develop its Florida store prototype design in 2010. Today, our team maintains 13 building and 17 fuel canopy prototypes with several standard variations to each.

Project Key Facts



Wawa, Inc.


Nathan Griffis

Greg Ansbro

“For over a decade our team has been extremely fortunate to play a part in Wawa’s aggressive growth plan. As exciting as it is to be a partner in more than 500 new locations, I enjoy all the wonderful relationships developed during that time even more. It is those relationships, and the desire for their success as individuals and as a group, which keeps us fully committed and vested. It is a privilege to have worked alongside some amazing people while accomplishing some incredible goals. I am proud to have played a part in this great legacy story for our firm.”

Nathan Griffis, Principal

The Challenge

Following the 2008 recession, Wawa embarked on an ambitious campaign to migrate to the state of Florida from their home market in the Mid-Atlantic. At a time when the economy was still in a downturn, they announced that they were going to open not just one or two locations, they were going to open twenty-five the first year. The goal was to make a big splash in the Sunshine State, and everything had to be just right. After all, Floridians had never seen anything like Wawa before. Yes, they sell gas but what they are really known for is fresh food. The company had to stay true to its brand yet reinvent itself to become part of the fabric of the Florida lifestyle. The warmer climate presented challenges and opportunities.

Wawa’s distinctive sloped fuel canopy is easily recognizable driving down the road, but it presented a challenge because the potential for hurricane-force winds meant that they must meet stricter Florida building codes. On the other hand, the warmer weather also provided an opportunity for them to incorporate outdoor seating into the new store design. Something that would be unthinkable in the colder climate of their home market.

The Solution

Cuhaci Peterson worked with Wawa to develop its Florida store prototype design from a blank sheet of paper in 2010. In contrast to the traditional style of the Mid-Atlantic stores, the Florida prototype features a more vibrant color palette, clapboard siding, and a flat canopy roof. Also, outdoor seating was incorporated into the design to enhance the experience for customers enjoying Wawa’s fresh food offerings. In keeping with Wawa’s brand identity, CP ensured that the entry towers and fuel canopies are similar to what you find in the Mid-Atlantic stores. The latter required structural engineering to do rigorous testing to meet stricter Florida building codes for hurricane-force winds.

Wawa’s aggressive growth in the state was supported by CP’s in-house permitting team, which worked diligently with local jurisdictions to stay on schedule and help achieve important milestones for new store openings. On March 9, 2023, Wawa opened its 250th store in the state of Florida and Cuhaci Peterson was there with them to celebrate this outstanding accomplishment.

The Relationship

As Wawa has grown with us, we have grown with them, as well! Partnering with our client, we have restructured our team to accommodate an increased workload, all while ensuring we are able to maintain the pace and high-quality results they have come to expect from us. To better serve the needs of our client, Cuhaci Peterson established a Philadelphia office with the acquisition of LMA Architects in 2013.

Since 2010, our teams have opened more than 500 new Wawa stores in Florida and the Mid-Atlantic, as well as hundreds of special projects and renovations. This includes stores in urban locations such as downtown Philadelphia, PA and Washington, D.C.

Project Highlights

500+ site adapt projects


250+ remodel projects


8 tenant improvement projects


Various special projects


Managed building, fuel canopy and trash compound prototypes


Approximately 50 revision bulletins annually


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