UPPER DARBY, Pa.—The star of HBO’s “Mare of Easttown” series, which is set in Delaware County—Delco, for short—Pennsylvania, may be Wawa, writes the Philadelphia Inquirer.
In response to all the love the convenience store chain received on the locally set detective series—and from all the love it got from the cast and crew in interviews—Wawa is hosting a Mare of Easttown Day today at the official opening of its new store at 418 W. Baltimore Pike in Upper Darby.
When the store opens at 8 a.m., the first 100 customers will receive free coffee and a limited-edition Wawa Delco shirt courtesy of Wawa. At 8:45 a.m., Chester County Detective Christine Bleiler, who was Kate Winslet’s “go-to person” for advice and a show technical adviser, will build the first Mare of Easttown Spicy Cheesesteak at 8:45 a.m.
From June 10 to 17, all 42 Delco stores in the chain—and only the Delco stores—will feature a limited-edition Mare of Easttown Spicy Cheesesteak as “a nod to how spicy the show is,” according to a news release. The offering combines beefsteak, spicy pepper relish and cheddar cheese sauce.
Following today’s ribbon cutting at the store, members of the Upper Darby Police and Fire Departments will compete in a hoagie-making competition, with each receiving $1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice. Plus, Wawa will donate $10,000 to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for a web series that will help families and caregivers identify behavioral health concerns in kids from preschool to college, given Mare of Easttown’s “commitment to raising awareness about mental health issues,” a news release said.
In interviews about the show, actor Evan Peters called Wawa “incredible,” and British Oscar winner Kate Winslet said Wawa seemed like “a mythical place” that “was the heart of Delco.”
Wawa spokesperson Lori Bruce said the chain is “proud and humbled to be a part of such an authentic and heartfelt show that honors the Pennsylvania region and shines a light on its unique culture.”
The show’s costume designer got her inspiration by scoping out customers at Wawas in the area, which is probably why half the characters in the series always look like they just woke up. Local comedian Nick Kupsey, a native of Upper Darby and the author of the e-book The Five People You Meet in Wawa said the costume design on Mare of Easttown was so authentic it seemed like the characters were “plucked right from the line at Wawa.” He went on to say that seeing Wawa products so much on the show hammered home to him that the store appeals well beyond its regional footprint now.
“Seeing Mare and other police officers handling Wawa products was spot-on in regard to accurately portraying police officers, in particular, and the denizens of Delco, in general,” he said. “That gave the show authenticity.”
Not a NACS Magazine or NACS Daily subscriber? Subscribe to NACS Magazine in a print and/or digital format to read the latest insights from industry thought leaders each month. Subscribe to NACS Daily to receive a roundup of industry news and trends in your inbox each weekday. Subscriptions to NACS Magazine and NACS Daily are complimentary for readers in the convenience retailing industry—you just need to sign up!