Wawa Anyone?


| 11 Comments
I really do not understand why people on the east coast are so obsessed with Wawa. To me it just seemed to be a gas station such as Extra Mile on the west coast. This past weekend I went to Wawa for the first time. Personally I did not enjoy the food, but it did depend on which Wawa I went to because only my first experience was bad. I went to three different Wawa's while I went canning the first one messed up my order and that is why my experience was bad. Though the second and third Wawa was much nicer and actually got my order correct. I believe that my experience at Wawa may not have been the best for psychological reasons. Here are my reasons why.

1. Wawa does not exist on the west coast so I have not grown up with it.
2. The people I have talked to about Wawa have built it up to be such an amazing experience that once I went I was disappointed.
3. The people who do love Wawa have been told to love Wawa by their peers and family as they grew up.

wawa.jpg
 To try to understand the psychological love for Wawa people have on the east coast, I interviewed my roommate, Devon Bilyk.

What is Wawa?
Wawa is a convient store which has a variety of food and other needs.

What is Wawa to you?
Wawa is awesome. I love it because I can get made to order hoagies.

Why do you love Wawa?
 It is homey and I always have a good experience there.

What makes Wawa different from any other gas station market such as seven eleven?
It has more choices.

Why should other people love Wawa?
It is good.

Can you explain why so many people are obsessed with Wawa here?
Not only is it just because of the food, but Wawa is always a place to go even at like three in the morning. If you are bored that is the place to go.

While her answers where a bit short. I have personally heard her rant about how much she loved Wawa. During the summer session my friend actually wrote an essay on why Wawa should come to State College. That shows how major of an obsession people have with Wawa if they are writing college papers on the subject.

Oh Wawa. I really do not understand why people are so obsessed with you. Please feel free to reply  to any of the questions I asked my roommate. Let me know why you love Wawa or maybe if you agree with me. I do understand that because many people grew up with Wawa it is what they know and love, but is it really that healthy to love "fast gas station food"? 

Whether Wawa is good or not is the obsession actually healthy?

11 Comments

I LOVE WAWA! Yes, I've grown up with Wawa, and I will forever be an anti-Sheetz kind of girl. The majority of the Wawa's around my area aren't gas station stops, but just convenience stores. Wawa has become an obsession for me because I can grab all of my favorite fast snacks from there, and there are plenty in my area back home. They have amazing hoagies, and one of my favorite parts of summer is the Wawa hoagie fest. I've also never had a strawberry-banana smoothie like the ones from there. I have to agree with your roommate about it being a good late night hang out because back home I would always make 2 a.m. Wawa trips with my friends just for fun to pick up snacks. It's also much more welcoming inside than 7-Eleven. I think Wawa is a healthy obsession because I'm sure I could live without it. It would just be a rough life.

For me, I love Wawa because I don't have one near me. I live in northern New Jersey, but whenever I go down the shore there are Wawa's everywhere. I think it's the type of thing, for me, that I want it because I can't always have it. I know, in my mind, that Wawa isn't anything too special. And I think that if I did have a Wawa around the corner from my house that I would not find it as special. There must be something in my brain telling me,"Well, Steph, this is the only time you may be having Wawa in awhile - so enjoy it!"

There is a Wawa less than two minutes away from my house, so I also stopped by to get a quick breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late night snack munchie. I had it down to a science where I could just run right in, place my order at the deli without even looking at the screen, go to the register and pay the exact total (because I had it memorized) and pick up my food, in less than 3-4 minutes. I don't think there's anything that separates Wawa from other convenience stores like Sheetz or 7-11. I think, depending on the volume of those stores that surround your hometown, you grow to love those ones. I've made many a stop at Sheetz during PSU visits before I became a student, and it's almost tradition now. The selection may be a little more varied, but it always will come second to Wawa in my book. I've been in a 7-11 maybe once or twice, and I can't remember much about them, but I know people really like their slurpies. Again, I think it comes down to geographical science. People that know Wawa love it, and don't compare it to anything else. Others that have only been exposed to Sheetz or another convenience store like this will say the same thing. It's kind of like regional foods. I'm always amazed to see differences in appetite and pleasurable meals between my NJ family and my family that visits occasionally from Alaska. They marvel Philly cheesesteaks, hoagies, Sicilian pizza, and even Tastycakes, yet they have their own foods that I have never heard of, but they worship. Foods like this, almost like foreign foods from other countries, will always be pitted against one another without any clear answer of which is actually the best, because it's pretty hard to find someone with a regional bias for food.

I am an East coast kid who has also grown up on Wawa. It is crazy how good this business does. For as successful as they are and for how many Wawa's there are on the East coast, you would think they would expand! But they have not and I think that is for a good reason. Like you stated, it just seems to be an East coast thing. People here go to Wawa because despite not very cheap prices, they are everywhere, have a good product, and everyone goes there. I do not understand why I spend $7 on lunch there every day of the summer, but I keep going back. It really is a regional bias for food.

Hey Kelsey!!!! I have never had WaWa but I have grown up with Sheetz which is the exact same thing in the Midwest. I think that there are so many better places to eat then a gas station and therefore, on my canning trip we never stopped there because we wanted some real food. I think that if you live near a Wawa, you are more drawn to it because it is a quick and easy way to get food. I like how you related it to a psychological aspect because if you keep telling your brain that you're "addicted" to something, you'll become obsessed with it. This article goes into what the difference is between a physical addiction or psychological addiction and Wawa is definitely a psychological addiction.

I definitely think this has to do with a cultural/sentimental/psychological aspect. People who grew up with Wawa obviously have some sort of sentimental attachment to it; they went there their whole lives. I personally have only been to Wawa a couple of times, and I see it as just your average gas station market. However, people who have been frequenting Wawa for years hold it in higher esteem because it's what they grew up with.

Wawa is just simply the best. When I drive home as soon as I see a Wawa I know I am home. I think that it is way better than Sheetz because it has more variety. Wawa’s gas prices also tend to be cheaper than most other gas stations. I have a Wawa right down the street from where I live and it’s the most convenient thing ever. I never knew that Wawa wasn’t worldwide until I came to Penn State and found out what a Sheetz was. I wonder, if I grew up with Sheetz would I think its better than Wawa? That’s so hard to imagine. I think your right, it has a lot to do with that fact that Wawa means home to me. People tend to be connected to things they know and have had experience with. It’s a sign of comfort when we see things we are familiar with. When we have to adapt to something new we show more opposition. So, maybe Sheetz is the same as Wawa but I just can’t see it because of those factors but I am fine with that because Wawa is still the best!

Hi Kelsey, I have to admit one of the hardest parts about choosing penn state was that I would be miles and miles away from wawa. The first thing I do when I go home from school is stop at wawa. Wawa basically dominates my home town I do not think I am ever more than a half a mile away from a wawa so connivence contributes a lot to people's addictions. Another thing that gets kids hooked (well, at least at my old high school) is that you can buy your self a snack or some gum while you fill up your tank and charge it to the credit card you have "for gas only". The charge on the card just looks like you got some gas so kids can easily pull the wool over their parents eyes. I really can't pin point what people see in wawa but I cringe when I hear someone ask what wawa is and the explanation is "oh its just like sheetz" because as a wawa girl sheetz is nothing in comparison

I am a huge Wawa supporter for many reasons. You can stop there and pick up just about anything. Every time I head home, I always stop at Wawa to grab a hoagie or a breakfast sandwich. After going in a few times, you get the layout of the store down pat and can get in and out relatively quickly. I also have a certain comfort level when I go in because I know exactly what to expect. I do not feel the same when I go into Sheetz up here which is weird because they are pretty much the same thing. As people have mentioned above, Wawa signals I am home. It is strange thinking that but it is always a relief to see Wawa when I have been at school for awhile.

Wawa is a dependable store with variety, solid food, and quick service.What's not to love about it?

I live near Philadelphia, so anywhere I go there is a Wawa within five minutes. To be honest, I still don't understand why people love it so much. The only time I ever go is when I am going on a trip, or driving down the shore. I like the fact that some of the Wawa's have gas stations because the gas is usually cheaper, but besides that I don't get the huge appeal. I'll get a drink and a snack or something, but I never order anything from the deli. I just would rather go to a nice sit in place then grab a quick roadside sandwich. I definately get yelled at by my friends and family who seem to be obsessed with the place, but I just don't love Wawa like they do. To me it's just a store that I go to when I need something quick like milk or bread at a cheaper price.

I love WaWa, I have two within walking distance from my house and I'll admit to making WaWa trips at least 3 times a week when at home. I agree that there is obviously a regional bias for food no matter where you go. After all, you don't see your everyday American eating dog, duck, or turtle like it's a walk through the park. You become accustomed and acquired to the food of your surroundings. I love WaWa and I would rave about it to any stranger that wants to listen, but to you it's just a deli with a connected gas station and aisles of snacks you can find anywhere else but to me, and obviously many others, it's associated with home.

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