In the spring of 2017, Mount Dora residents rejoiced when they learned Wawa, a chain of convenience stores and gas stations, planned to replace the small Shell station on the corner of U.S. 441 and Morningside Drive near Lake Gertrude. The large retailer gained popularity for its variety of fresh take-out food options including made-to-order hoagies, hot breakfast sandwiches, organic coffee, specialty beverages, plus soups, salads and snacks.
Two years later, those same residents are anxiously awaiting any signs of progress. Mount Dora City Council approved the Wawa project quickly and in 2017 it promptly annexed the approximately 1.25 acre property andre-zoned it as necessary for Wawa to build. However, the City had no control over the company’s internal construction schedules of the over 90 new stores in Florida. Unfortunately for local fans, Mount Dora’s location wasn’t early in Wawa’s construction schedule.
The current timing projects construction to begin in August and an expected opening in the Spring of 2020.
"The timing of our site openings are carefully planned and take into consideration many factors in our overall expansion efforts," a Wawa spokesperson told Mount Dora Buzz last year when it broke ground on three stores in Ocala.
The company’s first Florida store opened in 2012 and it now has well over 100 locations in the Sunshine State including Apopka, Sanford and Altamonte Springs. There are over 790 Wawa locations in the eastern part of the U.S.
"Wawa" is a Native American word for the Canada Goose that inhabited the Delaware Valley over 100 years ago. The company’s original dairy farm that was built in 1902 was located there and that’s why a goose appears on Wawa's logo.
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