FALLS TOWNSHIP >> Wawa joined Falls Township and community leaders in breaking ground on September 15 for its first ever freestanding drive-thru store.
Plans for the new 1,840 square foot store, located at West Trenton Avenue and Pine Grove Road at site of the former ACME store, were unveiled earlier this summer.
The architectural design is based on key Wawa brand elements such as its trademarked canopy, while the store itself is focused on fresh food in a drive-thru experience.
With an ongoing mission of providing convenience for customers, the innovative model is solely focused on drive-thru and curbside pickup service where customers can use state-of-the-art technology to quickly order Wawa’s most popular food and beverages, including value meals, combo meals along with coffee and specialty beverages.
Wawa Real Estate Project Engineer Mike Redel said Wawa chose the Falls Township location because the intersection sees an average of 25,000 cars per day and is in a commercial district near a strong residential population.
“Wawa is very excited about our planned Drive Thru location in Falls Township. This is a brand-new venture for us, and we think this location is the perfect place to test it,” Redel said. The drive thru window will front Route 13.
“It is meant to serve drive thru customers only, with no customer access to the store,” Redel said of the Falls Township location. “The menu will be limited to our most popular items, with a focus on value bundles with chips and a drink.”
The new store will offer curbside pickup in addition to drive thru service.
The company will spend more than $2 million on the location, which will feature state-of-the-art technology for order taking and tracking. The store is expected to employ 25 associates, including four full-time employees.
Wawa reviewed more than 50 potential locations to determine where would be best for its first drive thru only store. Ultimately, the company chose Falls Township for its loyal customer base and the site’s full access to two signalized roadways.
Highlights at the groundbreaking included remarks by Wawa leadership and executive team and members of the Falls Township Board of Supervisors.
Falls Supervisor Chairman Jeff Dence expressed excitement at the township being the first-ever site of such an innovative concept.
“Particularly in the wake of COVID-19, with concerns over minimizing person-to-person contact, Wawa’s drive thru only store just makes sense,” Dence said. “Falls Township is proud to help Wawa pioneer such a forward-thinking development.”
Other highlights included details on the timeframe for the opening of the drive-thru, the first-time reveal of the drive-thru menu and the presentation of two checks for $1,000 each to two food banks – St. Francis Cabrini Church and Mary’s Cupboard, a food bank that is part of St. Michael’s Church.
Immediately after the ceremony, members of the Wawa Store Operations team and the Community Care Team took part in a drive-thru distribution of bagged lunches to everyday heroes from nearby Jefferson University Hospital, the Falls Township Fire Marshal Office and the Falls Township Police Department to demonstrate Wawa’s commitment to supporting meaningful causes in the Lower Bucks County community.
Taking part were Brian Schaller, Wawa Chief Real Estate and Fuel Officer; Terri Micklin, Director of Construction, Wawa; Jason Read, Director of Store Operations, Wawa; local officials; healthcare heroes from Jefferson University Hospital; the Falls Township Fire Marshal Office; the Falls Township Police Department; Representatives from St. Francis Cabrini Church and Mary’s Cupboard of St. Michael's Church; and Wally Goose, Wawa’s Mascot.
“Wawa continues to test new store concepts with this latest drive thru format, providing an opportunity for our customers to experience and enjoy their favorite Wawa products while remaining inside their vehicle during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wawa officials. “Wawa is committed to increase convenience and provide new options for service while keeping safety and comfort top of mind. Wawa hopes to learn from the layout, workflow and traffic flow at this location, as it continues to explore alternatives for longer term application to stores post-COVID-19.”
The store is scheduled to open on Dec. 10.