TODAY: Free coffee at Wawa

Wawa will be handing out piping-hot cups of joe on Thursday.

The coffee giveaway is part of Wawa Day, an annual celebration that mark's the opening of the chain's first food market in 1964.

Customers can grab any size cup of any flavor brew at any time up until midnight. The limit is one per customer, of course.

"Wawa Day gives us an opportunity to thank and connect with our customers while celebrating a day that honors our most important historical milestones," Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens said in a statement.

Wawa actually dates back to 1803 when the privately held company began as an iron foundry. A hundred years later, the owner took an interest in dairy farming and opened a processing plant in Wawa, Pennsylvania. But as home delivery of milk waned in the mid-20th century the business needed a new way to reach customers.

The first Wawa Food Market opened in Folsom, Pennsylvania. But the first Wawa to sell gas – what the chain is best known for today – opened its doors on Aug. 2, 1996 in Millsboro, Delaware.

Today, there are 750 Wawa convenience stores in six states, including 500 gas stations. The chain is consistently ranked among the best convenience store/gas stations in the country, most recently placing fourth in an annual survey conducted by Market Force Information behind QuikTrip, Cumberland Farms and Sheetz.

In addition to giving away an estimated 2 million cups of coffee on Thursday, Wawa also will be giving away $2 million in grants at special events to highlight the third anniversary of the company's charitable arm.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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