OKEECHOBEE- The long-awaited grand opening of Wawa in Okeechobee kicked off with a ribbon cutting at 9:30 a.m. on July 15.
The store, located at 200 NW Park Street in Okeechobee, is hosted an opening ceremony featuring local officials, charitable contributions and a recognition of local heroes.
As part of the festivities, Wawa will also hosted its signature “Hoagies for Heroes” hoagie-building competition between the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office and Okeechobee City Police. The Okeechobee City Police showed up in a big way in the sandwich building competition, beating the Sheriff's Office and winning $1,000 for the Hospice of Okeechobee.
In addition, Wawa launched its “Lending a Helping Hoagie” initiative, and will donate a portion of all first week hoagie sales from the new Okeechobee store (up to $2,000) to the Treasure Coast Food Bank.
“At Wawa, our core purpose is to go beyond filling orders to fulfill lives, every day, and that has never been stronger than it is now as we embark on a new year full of new growth, new jobs, and an enhancement of the way we deliver the Wawa experience through what we call, ‘Boundless Convenience,’” said Wawa president and CEO Chris Gheysens. “As new stores open throughout the year, we will continue to bring not just a new Wawa to the community but a commitment to growth and building stronger communities. We look forward to meeting all our new friends and neighbors in the Okeechobee community!”
Wawa will offer free coffee to all customers at the Okeechobee location from July 15 through July 25.
The convenience store has been highly anticipated in Okeechobee ever since the property was first cleared back in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed the start of construction.
In a December 2019 Okeechobee City Council meeting, the then administrator Marcos Montes De Oca assured the public that the long planned for store would be on the way.
“They just need to wrap up the site development work, and then we wait for the machine to churn it out from corporate America,” Montes de Oca said. “They typically don’t take this long, but there is nothing wrong. You can rest assured, it’s still coming.”
In a press release Wawa says their new Okeechobee store will also feature some innovations in convenience including mobile ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery options, In addition, this store will feature the latest in Wawa’s fresh, quality and convenient food options, including the new dinner menu offerings, such as the new burger, pasta, Kids Meals, Heat and Eat Meals and more.
The grand opening of this location is the first store in the City of Okeechobee, 226th in the state of Florida, and the 7th new Wawa to open in Florida to date in 2021.
Andy Stephens will serve as general manager of the new Okeechobee Wawa store, leading a team of approximately 40 associates, all of which are new positions brought to the area through the development of the store.