'Sheetz Vs. Wawa' documentary claims it will settle Pennsylvania's great convenience store debate
The filmmaker, who grew up in Sheetz country, claims he can be unbiased. We're not so sure.
In Pennsylvania, residents must pick a side. Philadelphia or Pittsburgh? The Flyers or the Penguins? The Eagles or the Steelers?
But perhaps no statewide rivalry ignites the passion in Pennsylvanians' stomachs quite like that of Wawa vs. Sheetz.
Now, one Pennsylvania filmmaker is developing a documentary called Sheetz Vs. Wawa about the beloved convenience store chains and the rivalry that's developed between their fanatical fan bases.
In promotional material for his film, documentarian Matthew Fridg makes a lofty and, frankly, a dangerous claim: that his movie will decide, once and for all, whether Wawa or Sheetz is better.
"We settle this here. We settle this now," reads the film's tagline.
Even though Fridg, 37, has a Pittsburgh area code and grew up in Sheetz country, i.e, the western half of the state, he claims he can be unbiased.
"I've been exposed to both and while the Sheetz love is homegrown, I also like Wawa," he tried to convince us. And failed miserably.
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But that doesn't mean we're not interested in seeing his documentary, which is still in development, come to light. He hopes to release the film in 2019, but the timetable is dependent on funding.
Before pursuing his documentary, Fridg wanted to see if there would be interest in the topic, so he created a Facebook page called Sheetz Vs. Wawa in November. Today, the page has 8,000 likes, and a promotional preview video for the documentary has been viewed more than 17,000 times.
"I thought I should see if people wanted to see this first," he said. "I would say yes — yes, they really do want this."
Fridg said he's received messages from devotees who tell him they eat a hot dog at Sheetz every morning or that they got married at a Wawa. He hopes to add some of those stories into the feature-length documentary, which will include the history of the two chains, the culture of each business, and notable employees.
"We'll also delve into the people that are the fans, the lovers of the brands," he said. "Because actually the stores are not rivals; it's the fans who created the rivalry."
He said he hopes other businesses will watch his film "and take notes on how Sheetz and Wawa have done things."
We know. Fridg keeps putting Sheetz before Wawa, whenever he speaks and in the title of his movie. It's making us very suspicious, too.
Aside from following fans of the stores and delving into the brands' cultures, Fridg said his movie will have "some sort of test" to determine which convenience store is better.
"So we will go on a journey, we may do a coffee taste test, we may do a side-by-side hoagie test, or we just may end up having a big tug of war between Sheetz and Wawa employees," he said. "We want to make the movie fun and serious — but more fun than serious."
Fridg, who works for a production company in Pittsburgh, urged those interested in seeing his Sheetz Vs. Wawa film to sign up for the movie's email list (where you can choose your side, Wawa or Sheetz) and to share their stories at his movie's website.
Finally, Philly — at dawn, we must ride! For Fridg has a Wawa vs. Sheetz poll on his movie's Facebook page and somehow, Wawa is not winning. Yet.
Which is better? You decide…Sheetz or Wawa! Click one of the photos below to cast your vote.
Posted by Sheetz vs. Wawa: The Movie on Wednesday, November 22, 2017
"Philly has to get on that poll and represent," Fridg said.