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In Riverview: borders of convenience

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image Construction is beginning on a new WaWa store on Bloomingdale and U.S. Highway 301 in Riverview. Photo Mitch Traphagen

By Mitch Traphagen

WaWa has come to Florida.  The popular Pennsylvania convenience store chain with an unusual name opened their first Sunshine State location in Pinellas Park last week.  Currently under construction is one store in Riverview near the southeast corner of Bloomingdale Ave. and U.S. Highway 301.  Yet another WaWa is expected to appear on the far eastern end of the Riverview area on the northwest corner of Lithia-Pinecrest and Bloomingdale.  The operators of several businesses on the latter corner have been advised that they will need to move by sometime in March. 

WaWa is considered a high-end chain of convenience stores with 570 locations.  The Florida stores are the first stores south of Virginia.  Typical stores can offer 6,000 items, including sandwiches (hoagies up north, subs down south) and a broad selection of beverages.  The privately held company has a long history — its first store opened in New Jersey in 1803. 

Back in Riverview, the WaWa at Bloomingdale and 301 won’t be lonely:  in addition to existing conveniences stores, a new Thortons convenience store is nearing completion on the southeast corner of that intersection.  Thortons, also privately held, is a family-owned business centered in the Midwest currently with only one other Florida store, located in Clearwater.  The company currently operates 160 stores with a focus on customer service and an expanded selection of products.

For more information, visit www.wawa.com and www.thorntonsinc.com.

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