xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Wawa opens location, brings business to Lansdowne

Wawa opens location, brings business to Lansdowne

Halethorpe resident Michael Papier, 54, was one of dozens of local residents to sip free coffee at the grand opening of a Wawa store on Washington Boulevard Friday morning.

"I'm excited," said Papier, who served in the U.S. Army. "Traveling in the military and seeing a Wawa was like finding a safe haven."

Advertisement

The Lansdowne community received a boost Friday with the opening of the Wawa location. It brings roughly 50 new jobs to the commercial area, which sits on the border of Lansdowne and Halethorpe near Gianni's Italian Bistro, a locally owned full-service restaurant.

The positions offer competitive salaries with health benefits and an opportunity to enroll in an employee stock ownership plan, according to a company press release.

Advertisement

"Wawa is a great place to go for gas and fast food," said Wayne McDowell, president of the Lansdowne Business and Professional Association. "I don't think it will affect business at Gianni's."

First District Councilman Tom Quirk, who represents Lansdowne, Arbutus and Catonsville, said the store is just an example of continued investment in the area, after Kaiser Permanente opened a 130,000-square-foot medicial facility off Washington Boulevard at Lansdowne Road last year.

"There are a lot of investors interested in that area right now," Quirk said, referring to the Lansdowne area. "I've talked to many of them and I've gone on tours with them."

The store located at 3716 Washington Boulevard held its grand opening at 10 a.m., attracting dozens of customers and employees, who listened to Wawa's director of operations Kathy Monzo, who spoke about the company and it's commitment to the surrounding community.

The privately held company is a chain of more than 660 convenience retail stores, with 400 that offer gas stations, located throughout Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Florida.

Wawa has already drawn Josey Miller, 20, away from competitor Royal Farms, a similar gas and convenience store operation. She said that she left her position as a manager to work at the new Wawa store on Washington Boulevard.

Royal Farms, a Baltimore-based privately owned company, has 160 stores in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Colleen Labik, a spokeswoman for the company, could not provide the cost of building the new location, but said they invest roughly $6 million at each.

"It's a centrally located area and a wonderful community," Labik said. "It's a great place to put a store."

Store manager Amanda Broyles, 32, a graduate of Western School of Technology and Environmental Science in Catonsville, grew up in Lansdowne.

"I was very excited when I saw we were putting a store here — I was quick to jump in and apply because I'm familiar with the area," said Broyles who used to manage a Wawa store on Eastern Avenue in Baltimore City. "I thought it would be nice to come back here."

"Wawa's are almost like a community center. We're a people-driven company," Broyles said. "We do a lot out in the community so we're going to be able to give back."

Advertisement

Employees volunteer for the Polar Bear Plunge [for the Special Olympics] and fundraiser walks for breast cancer and juvenile diabetes, Broyles said.

Wawa locations stay open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, Monzo said.

"We never close," Broyles said. "So in snow events...provided we have power, we stay open to provide for the first responders, the highway workers, to make sure they have a warm place to rest, for a cup of coffee or whatever they need," Broyles said.

Pete Kriscumas, legislative aide to 1st District Councilman Quirk, who represents the area, presented the company with a resolution on behalf of the Baltimore County Council, to congragulate the owners and employees of Wawa.

State delegate-elect Dr. Clarence Lam, who will represent District 12, also spoke.

"Wawa is great for the community and great for the U.S. Route 1 corridor," Krisumas said after the opening. "It's a huge asset to this area with the jobs that it created."

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement