'We're grateful to be part of this community,' said the store's director of operations in Florida.
Wawa celebrated the grand opening of its Ormond Beach store — along with two others across the state, marking over 200 stores in the state — with free coffee, $2 gasoline, a dancing goose and hoagies.
The store officially opened its doors on Thursday, Oct. 17, over two years after Granada Pointe's rezoning and development order was approved. A ceremony was held outside the building, which was attended by city officials, community leaders, curious onlookers and Wawa staff. Several first responders were also there, as Wawa hosts a Hoagies for Heroes contest at each of its grand openings to recognize every day heroes in the community and support their organizations.
“We’re grateful to be part of this community," said Steve Hasher, Wawa director of operations in Florida. "When we open this store, our goal and our purpose as well is to build lives every day. We plan to do that.”
Wawa has added 40 jobs to the community, which according to the company website, may range in pay from $10-$28 an hour depending on position. The store also donated $1,000 each to the Ormond Beach Police Department, the Ormond Beach Firefighters Charities and the Boys and Girls Club.
Hasher said the store's opening wouldn't have happened without the support of community leaders, saying they have been a "vital part of our expansion efforts.”
The development of Granada Pointe and the new Wawa were a controversial subject in the community once the land was clear-cut, and played a role in various city commission candidate platforms in the 2018 election. The gas station is the first business to open in the 32 acre multi-parcel development which had to be rezoned to a Planned Business Development to come to fruition.
Ormond Beach Mayor Bill Partington welcomed Wawa into the community, saying he's heard many residents say they love the gas station's drinks, hoagies and gasoline prices.
“We are very excited about having Wawa in Ormond Beach," Partington said.
Store General Manager Jason Smith, an Ormond Beach resident, said he and his team were proud to be part of the Wawa family.
“Ormond Beach, this is your Wawa as much as it is ours," Smith said. "We look forward to welcoming you, our new friends and our new neighbors, every day.”
This story was updated at 10:50 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, to correct that the store is not the 200th. There were three store openings on Oct. 17, across the state, all scheduled for the same time, but Wawa celebrated its 200th store opening in Naples.