A long time ago I said to myself, "Wow, Wawa would do wonderfully in Florida. I bet I could make a ton of money opening up a franchise here in the Sunshine State." I was maybe all of 23. But, I totally looked it up. The Wawa company didn't franchise. All stores were company owned. Plus, I had like $500 to my name, and the capital requirements would likely be more than that. But, pish, pish- it was a darn good idea anyway and I knew it. Well, years later, boy was I right. Wawa has a cult following; a following that certainly stayed with them as they opened Florida stores a few years back. Everyone who grew up with one as their 'hometown' corner store is stoked to have these little convenience store gems pop up in our beloved home state. To top it off, in Florida, they are also large gas stations. Wawa started that trend up north, but I feel like they have perfected the model here in the good ol' southern most state of the USA, It's just plain cool to experience a truly loved brand and real hometown staple show up in your chosen 'new' home. Florida is made up of a conglomerate of natives and 'transplants.' That is why brands like Wawa, born and bred in the northeast, do so well here. And, Wawa "Winter Garden" did not disappoint when we visited the location on it's very first, grand opening, day.
I smiled from ear to ear as I filled up my tiny Civic with Wawa gas. Then, I strolled inside to fill up my cute red paper snowflake cup with free "Holiday' Blend Wawa coffee. I perused the store and noted the Tastycakes, Herrs chips, and other Philly brands that warmed my heart and filled me with joy to see them show up here in Florida. I also thought about the Philly cheesecake on the Philly-made Amoroso roll I would order the next time I stopped by the little store for lunch or dinner. The trip was more than any born and bred Philly girl could wish for in her new(ish) chosen hometown of Winter Garden, FL where we live, own a beautiful home, and are raising two little kids of our own. Honestly, it was the first thing I thought of to 'blog' about that truly would showcase, kick-start, and introduce everything this new adventure and blog journey is meant to be. Sunshine State Moms is about bringing fun and exciting stories, brands, events, and moments in time that will fully and completely warm your heart, bring you a smile, or fill you with immeasurable joy and excitement.
Our little family has now called Florida 'home' for over 14 years. We aren't newbies or strangers to the Sunshine Sate. I met my husband in 2002 when we both worked for the mouse and never turned back. It's a fabulous place to "live, work, and play' just as Walt Disney dreamed it one day would be. I think parts of Central Florida maybe strayed from his initial EPCOT dream, but nonetheless it's the perfect place to plant roots and to raise a family. There's countless things to do like the attractions everyone knows about- Disney, Universal, Sea World, and all the fun I-drive activities and conventions that bring millions of visitors annually. But Florida is so much more than that. It's small towns filled with immeasurable charm, some of the largest metropolitan cities in the country and international cruise ports. It's historical landmarks like the oldest city in America and key naval bases. It's jet-skiing on crystal clear river waters. It's great schools, amazing healthcare, and some of the top Universities in the World. Florida is more than you would expect and that's what this blog was designed to share. We intend to connect moms and families across our state to showcase all the incredible advantages Florida has to offer to families who call our state home and the millions of tourists who want to discover the magic alike.