I can't even express the joy I felt when I saw that there was a Wawa down by USF in Tampa. It meant that I have the potential to go there anytime I want and get a turkey hoagie, peach tea, kettle cooked barbeque potato chips, and a two pack of Entenmanns chocolate covered donuts (which coincidentally was the contents of my dinner last night) anytime I felt the urge. Thankfully, I don't get the urge that often. I think it's been about 3 to 5 months since I last went to that particular Wawa by USF...
But anyway... Wawa is an institution of the city of Philadelphia. Cheesesteaks, Wawa, and water ice... Those are usually the first things that come to mind when I think of Philly when I'm in Tampa. You would think it would be the skyline, yeah I think of that too, but usually it's those things and really out of those three things the only one that's more or less obtainable IS Wawa. However, unlike most Philadelphians I didn't start frequenting Wawa's until my late teens early 20's. See, in the Northwest part of the city, where I'm from, there's only 1 Wawa.
Side note, actually there were two, one that I'm about to mention and another one in Chestnut Hill, but that closed after they were robbed and I believe someone was shot and killed there, so it closed down shortly thereafter.
But the one Wawa near my parent's house is on Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy on the way to Chestnut Hill and if you don't have a car, as I did not have, or if you didn't have any business on that part of Germantown Avenue, it was pretty much inaccessible. So I didn't really start going to Wawa until I met Maureen and... Ugh... Kristin. They lived pretty close to where Wawa was and they were the ones that introduced me to the love that was Wawa, and from that first hoagie, I was hooked and never looked back. I mean it's so bad that when I think of Wawa, I even can smell the way the store smells. Wawa has such a distinctive smell that I can't really pinpoint. Even the one in Tampa smells like the ones here. It's so distinctive and is actually making my mouth water, even though I was just in Wawa last night.
I do love Wawa, but the article was making the argument why do people from Philadelphia go completely out of their way for Wawa, they just couldn't wrap their heads around it. As we learned in marketing class, it's about Brand Loyalty. People are going to support that which they love. Just look at all those car commercials that people say "I've purchased X brand of car and will always but that brand of car!". Or the one car commercial where the woman said her family has generationally purchased whatever brand of car since like 1980 or something; why is that any different then people bypassing three 7 Eleven's to get to one Wawa? People like what they like and tend to cling to a place they are familiar with and I don't see the harm.