UPDATE: After readers asked about changes to Wawa's cold-cuts prep, spokeswoman Lori Bruce says: "We have been phasing out slicers for a few years now; we currently have them in about 100 stores." Most stores now use pre-sliced meats and cheeses "received fresh... on a daily basis" through Wawa's South Jersey-based supplpy chain (there's a different chain for Florida stores) from Berks, Giordano's, and other cold-cut houses; Dietz and Watson has not been a supplier.
EARLIER: Chris Gheysens, who's been Wawa's CEO since New Year's Day, lives in South Jersey and works at company HQ in Delaware County when he's not running around 600 -plus Wawa stores from North Jersey to Orlando.
So he doesn't get downtown much, Gheysens admitted to the Irish American Business Chamber & Network (corrected) at its Pyramid Club luncheon today. "You know how it is. I've got four kids. So not a dollar on me" when he had to feed a meter this morning, he said.
"So I stopped at the ATM. There was a three-dollar surcharge. What's Wawa's surcharge?" Wawa friends in the crowd yelled back, "Zero!" and applauded.
"Right. So I went in Starbucks. They charged me $2.25 for a cup of coffee. What's Wawa's coffee price?" The shout came back: "A dollar." "And Wawa's coffee is better." Pause. "This is not an advertisement by any sense." That got the laugh line too.
He was story-telling: Center City has converted to card-operated parking meters. No matter; the crowd went right along as he sketched a "Blue Ocean" business strategy -- "Couple gas, with food service, in good locations, with great customer service... No one else is doing that" in Wawa's markets.
Gheysens also said Wawa has made a decision on its store-baked bread experiment in partnership with Amoroso's, Wawa's bread supplier: "Fresh baked rolls. By the end of the year you will have an oven in every Wawa." Which means more bread baked on site (and maybe less from Amoroso's South Jersey industrial bakery).