Last summer, we learned that Wawa plans to close its very first store in Folsom, Delaware County in favor of a planned nearby "Super Wawa." Now, one Delco native is sticking up for the location in hopes that it can remain open.
"Wawa 1 is not just any Wawa, it is a part of my family," Jacqui Vivanco Hertlein, now a resident of Houston, Texas, recently wrote on Wawa's Facebook page in an open letter. "Some of you may think that it is weird to include a local grocery store as an important part of your family, but the truth is ... it's more than just a local grocery store."
Hertlein, who simply wants "Wawa 1" to stay put, went on to write that Wawa's first retail location has always been there for her family since its opening in April 1964. And should that element of Delco life leave her family, Hertlein notes, there will be one particularly unhappy ex-customer: her grandfather.
"It has been our family's Wawa for over 45 years, and the news of it being knocked down and moved is tearing my sweet Pop's heart," she wrote. "It is a piece of American history, Delco history, and the Vivanco-Clark-Baker-Hertlein family history."
What's more, spokeswoman Lori Bruce told NBC that Hertlein's open letter was a touching one for Wawa corporate. Via NBC:
"This letter touched all of us here at Wawa as the Folsom store will always hold a special place in our hearts," said the Wawa spokeswoman. "We will be reaching out to the family to connect with them and keep them informed as our plans take shape."
While Bruce also notes that the "timeline for Wawa 1 remains fluid," Wawa plans to close their original store early in 2016 before moving the operation a half-mile down the road to the aforementioned "Super Wawa" site. The new store will assume Wawa 1's store number.
But that last part, unfortunately, won't get Hertlein's Pop in the new spot.
"He is refusing to step food into the new Wawa or any other for that matter because they are not HIS Wawa," Hertlein wrote. "The other Wawas will never be what the ORIGINAL is and was."