If you aren’t from the east coast, chances are, Wawa doesn’t ring any bells. You’ll be surprised to learn that Wawa is a chain of convenience stores and gasoline stations located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Florida.
The company is named after a small town in Pennsylvania. Wawa is also the Native American word for “Canada Goose in flight.” No wonder the Branta Canadensis, or Canada Goose, appears on Wawa’s logo.
Wawa convenience stores carry a wide selection of snacks and beverages. But to set it apart from competing companies, it also offers fresh food like breakfast sandwiches, bakery products, wraps, dairy products, and even a deli that everyone raves about.
The first Wawa store opened in 1964 in a small town called Folsom, Pennsylvania. Wawa has adapted to people’s needs and preferences like any good company over the years. This tradition of continually evolving with the times continues today. It recently started targeting or giving more importance to plant-based vegetarians and vegan dieters.
In this article, we’ll look at what options are suitable for vegans at Wawa. We’ll explore the company’s history and values, learn some Wawa fun facts, and finally dive into their fresh food menu to give you an idea as to what you can order at Wawa that will suit your vegan diet.
Are There Vegan Options at Wawa?
Yes. You can eat vegan at Wawa. When it comes to the fresh food menu, it doesn’t have a ton of options, but you’ll be able to find something that’s affordable, convenient, and surprisingly tasty.
In a Hurry? Order This!
If you’re in a hurry and want to know what you can grab without having to read this entire article, just order this:
Build your hoagie by selecting any roll except the wheat roll, which contains honey. You can choose from a massive selection of vegan-friendly ingredients. Here’s a delicious combo if you aren’t sure what to order:
- Plain white sub
- Sliced tomatoes
- Roasted vegetables
You can have it toasted if you like a little more crunch and if you just can’t resist the smell and taste of warm bread.
Add a market mix salad and choose from a selection of fruit cups that are always fresh.
A Brief History of Wawa
Wawa began in 1803 as an iron foundry, where they produced metal castings. George Wood, the company’s founder, ever the ambitious man, saw an opportunity in the dairy business. At the turn of the 20th century, buying milk was risky. With the help of a few doctors, George Wood had his milk “certified” safe and, in turn, made a killing in industry. Wawa enjoyed nearly 50 years of home delivery services but had to change tactics when Americans started to buy their milk at the store. The industry is in decline, and Wawa adjusted.
Grahame Wood (George Wood’s grandson) opened the first Wawa food market in 1964. This was just before supermarkets became popular, so Wawa was an excellent time to spread its reach and become one of the most popular convenience stores on the east coast. The company is still family-owned and isn’t franchised. They now have over 900 stores and had an excess of $10 billion in revenue in 2019.
Here are seven of my favorite fun facts about Wawa. They may not be the most meaningful in the world, but they may make a pretty good conversation starter or come in handy during a first date. Well, on second thought, hopefully, you just passed by Wawa for your first date.
1. Wawa has its own university. At Wawa University, you can earn a ServSafe certification.
2. Some Wawa convenience stores serve beer. Over a hundred Wawa stores have liquor licenses. Do you think they’ll open a chain of bars soon?
3. Wawa serves over 80 million hoagies per year. Now that’s a lot of sandwiches.
4. Governor Ed Rendell named Wawa hoagies the official Philadelphia sandwich. Wait a second here! Wawa doesn’t even serve a Philly cheesesteak. I demand a vote on that one!
5. Wawa likes their salt. Their Italian Classic contains over 4500 mg of sodium. That’s over 155% of the daily intake! Good thing vegans don’t have to worry about this one.
6. They have millions of likes on their Facebook page.
7. If you’re feeling lucky, Wawa has its very own lottery tickets. Yes, I’ll have a vegan hoagie, a fruit cup, and two lottery tickets, please.
Your Vegan Menu
The Wawa menu is extensive yet not overwhelming. Let’s have a look at what you can safely eat at Wawa. It’s important to note that Wawa employees, based on reviews and company philosophy, are exceptionally well-trained and just as helpful. If you feel lost, you may ask for help from a deli employee if you just aren’t sure about a particular ingredient. Either way, the following guide should give you enough vegan-friendly options.
Hoagies, or hoagie rolls, are pretty much subs. You can build your hoagie by customizing your order. All orders are placed on touch screens, making it extremely easy to place the perfect vegan order.
You have the choice between two types of bread:
- Plain white
Do not order the wheat roll; it contains honey!
The list of vegan-friendly vegetables is bound to make you smile. They have enough ingredients to keep you trying different combos for a while.
- Fresh salsa
- Spicy peppers
- Jalapeno peppers
- Roasted red pepper
- Roasted veggies
- Sliced tomatoes
- Sweet peppers
Toppings & Sauces
Again, vegan-friendly options are plentiful at Wawa. It’s time to get your sauce on!
- Old Bay seasoning
- Sriracha sauce
Burritos and Burrito Bowls
Even though Wawa isn’t a Mexican joint, they have pretty good “Mexican” burritos that are perfect to go solution.
- Fresh salsa
- Black beans
- White rice
- Sriracha sauce
With help from the staff, you can also add the ingredients we listed here under the veggie section. That’s a great way to make your burrito or bowl much more substantial.
From the Fridge
Wawa’s grab-it-to-go fridge is a fantastic option for healthier pitstops or as a dessert after your tasty hoagie.
- Fresh fruit cup
- Apple snack pack
- Baby carrot snack pack
- Market mix Salad
- Superfood Salad
The fresh fruit varies according to the location, but they are vegan-friendly. The salads are just as good; make sure the sauce contains no cream or honey.
Coffee & Tea
Even though this article is mostly about food, their coffee is worth mentioning. Wawa works hard to give its customers the best coffee experience at an affordable price. Their coffee lineup is impressive. They continuously experiment with different beans and roasting methods. Customers agree that Wawa has the best coffee compared to other convenience stores. On top of that, they have almond milk! That means you can order your cappuccino, latte, flat white, or macchiato without fear.
Wawa also offers tea, which can be sweetened with raw sugar. Ah, Wawa makes it so easy to be vegan!
Is It Worth It?
Being vegan has restrictions, but it shouldn’t mean that you have to turn into a homebody that can’t eat anything outside their own home. Times are changing, and Wawa is an excellent example of this change. They offer a good selection of vegan products from their fresh food menu and tons of vegan-friendly products in their aisles. If you’re on the road, need a quick snack, or looking for a fast and convenient meal, Wawa is worth it.
Wawa has a rich history that dates back over 200 years. They may have started as a foundry and then moved into dairy products, but one thing is sure is that they know how to build a business that attracts various types of customers. Their convenience stores are convenient in every aspect!
Incredibly, you can stop for gas, have a quality cup of joe, eat a fantastic sandwich, and grab a cup of fresh fruits, all from the same place. In short, Wawa has done a great job accommodating vegans and will no doubt continue offering options for those who choose a cruelty-free diet.