Convenience Store Rivalry: Wawa vs Sheetz


Abigail Puketza

NPHS students tackle the debate of which convenience store chain is the best: Wawa or Sheetz.

No matter who you talk to at North Penn, the topic of the infamous convenience stores, Wawa, is always talked about fondly. It is constantly swarmed with people no matter what time of the day. It is the source of early morning breakfast sandwiches, mid-day snacks, after practice meals, and on-the-run dinners. Every two miles there seems to be one of these beautiful fortresses standing tall in all its glory. However, Wawas are not the only glorified gas stations in Pennsylvania.

In western Pennsylvania and neighboring states, there is another chain: Sheetz. Not many people from this area know what Sheetz is, since the closest one is about forty minutes away. However, those that go on road trips or have away tournaments for sports probably are familiar with this establishment. But for those who have never been graced with the chance to enter a Sheetz, it is very similar. It has most of the same options that are present at Wawa like snacks, frozen foods, candy, pre-packaged food, as well as touch-screen menus where hot food and sandwiches can be prepared behind the counter on the spot.

Even though both of these gas stations are comparable, there are many discrepancies in the style, food, and location. Sheetz is often larger than Wawas with more options in foods and drinks. The menu is more extensive, having many more options than Wawa. The overall vibe of Sheetz is much more loud and flashy, having more bright colors incorporated in the interior design of each location. Their flavors of frozen drinks are more exotic, such as peanut butter and jelly, cotton candy, fluffernutter, horchata, orange creamsicle, cake batter, and many more. Their food menu is more broad as well, including sliders, mac and cheese platters, wraps, loaded fries, jalapeno bites, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, fish platters, hot dogs, broutworts, tacos, nachos, burritos, Quesadillas, salads, the list goes on. In the store, there are also frozen yogurt machines, sometimes more than 10 different slushie machines. Their options are endless.

Looking at strictly the facts, Sheetz seems to be the obvious better choice. More selection, bigger store, more colorful and fun. However, Wawa has something that Sheetz does not. Sheetz is flashy, in your face and honestly at first a little overwhelming. However, Wawa has a much more laid-back vibe. It is a place where no matter how I am dressed- socks and sandals or high heals- I feel at home. It brings a sense of community and simplicity that Sheetz does not offer. Even though there are less options, the food is made with care and every item on the menu is fresh and well made. Some of the food at Sheetz, though it is unique, does not taste as good and is more artificial.

Everyone has their own opinion on which gas station they prefer, so I made a poll to see what students like better. I wanted to see if the geography affected people’s opinions, so I asked the followers of my Instagram which place they prefer. I estimate that about 50% of my followers attend North Penn or live in the surrounding area, but I also have a lot of friends that live in neighboring states that have both Sheetz and Wawa. I thought this would provide an interesting perspective and would answer my question of whether or not geography plays a role. Some people live close to both of their places, so they get to choose which place to stop after school and before practices. So, which do they like better? Does High School students like Wawa or Sheetz better?

So, after a day of the poll being active, 160 people voted for Wawa, while only 13 voted for Sheetz. So, this shows that almost all people like Wawa better than Sheetz, which is what I anticipated. Yes, Sheetz is a great place to stop for a snack, but if I have the option, I, like most people, would go to Wawa.