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Delaware Pride Includes Wawa

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We all have our own ideas about what we love most about the First State. In fact, that’s the point of this month’s cover story, “101 Reasons to Love Delaware” (page 56). I think most of us would agree that tax-free shopping, beautiful beaches, low property taxes, and our nature trails and museums give us a certain distinction. We also take pride in our people, from WNBA superstar Elena Delle Donne and acclaimed musician David Bromberg to beer honcho Sam Calagione and Veep Joe Biden. Heck, we still claim former UD quarterback Joe Flacco as our own, although he’s been a Baltimore Raven for seven years.

Local cuisine also plays a big part in our infatuation. We adore our crabs, scrapple and, yes, even lima beans (who knew we were the largest supplier in the nation?). We even have a burgeoning food scene in the Rehoboth Beach area that’s gaining national attention. So there, Philadelphia. I have a secret to share: When I drive around Delaware, my heart belongs to Wawa—something I hope Royal Farms understands. A Maryland mainstay, the quick-stop market I grew up calling the “Farm Store” just doesn’t measure up. It’s got great fried chicken, and the chicken salad is unparalleled. Beyond that, well, “RoFo” is just an ordinary convenience store (and it doesn’t help that I always leave smelling like cooked poultry).

Wawa, on the other hand, usually has the lowest gas prices, delicious made-to-order food (do try an egg-salad-and-bacon sandwich) and topnotch coffee. The free air pump, decent restrooms and no-surcharge ATMs are bonuses. It seems like there’s a Wawa on every corner in our tiny state—never mind that its headquarters is in Pennsylvania (albeit Delaware County). In reality, there are more than 600 Wawa locations across the Mid-Atlantic, and they recently expanded to Florida. Some days, you can’t even find a place at a pump or in the parking lot at the new Wawa on Basin Road, where lunchtime rivals holiday shopping at the mall. Wawa is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and it continues to spread its wings, planning more locations along the way. I think that’s just golden. Sorry, RoFo.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT DELAWARE?

I’m sure there are at least 101 more things that make our state special, and we hope you’ll share your thoughts on our Facebook page using #del101. Or drop me an email at sloudermilk@todaymediainc.com. We’ll print the best responses in our next issue.

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