Blue and orange confetti is usually accompanied by cheers of “Go Gators” and an appearance by Albert and Alberta, but on Tuesday fans took photos with Wawa’s Wally Goose in anticipation of new stores coming to Gainesville.
Wawa, a Pennsylvania-based chain of convenience stores and gas stations, is expected to open five locations in Gainesville by 2021, store leaders announced at a groundbreaking ceremony at 1007 E. University Ave. Two stores, at 2372 SW Archer Road and 1614 W. University Ave., are expected to open in spring 2020.
“This is the first groundbreaking I’ve been to that bought its own mascot,” said Gainesville District II Commissioner Harvey Ward.
The chain originally started out as a milk delivery service in the early 1900s before opening storefronts in the 1960s to include more food and drinks, and eventually included gas pumps.
Those who are gaga for Wawa warn others: Don’t call it just a gas station. Ward learned that lesson when the commission first approved construction on the first stores.
“I got schooled in a hurry,” he said.