The more than 750-store Wawa company, which operates in six states and the District of Columbia, opened its first Florida store in 2012 in Central Florida near SeaWorld.

For two years before that, media attention and demand ramped up expectations, and upon opening there was a two-hour wait for Wawa’s signature hoagies, he said.

Wawa then built in southwest and southeast Florida. “Jacksonville was always part of our plan,” he said.

Duke said Wawa enlisted architect Cuhaci & Peterson of Orlando to design a prototype store for Florida. The two sizes are about 5,600 and 6,100 square feet and the Florida look includes outdoor seating, a center-store hoagie station and designs and colors reflective of the Sunshine State.