Rozwell Kid -- a band from West Virginia where "the hills are peppered with Sheetz locations," according to frontman Jordan Hudkins -- wrote their own (unsolicited) jingle for Sheetz, "I Pledge Allegiance to Sheetz." A cheery, cheeky single, it was adopted by many as a battle cry for late-night Sheetz runs and served as a callback to the band's own late-night stops.
This type of fanaticism simply doesn't happen for convenience stores. It's not something that just springs up when sandwich places are open late. This is the kind of devotion that only occurs when a chain not only embraces, but embodies its region's tastes, and develops an unwavering rapport with its customers. It's a product of food facilitating weepy, oft-intoxicated nostalgia, and, ultimately, inspiring love. At their best, they are living examples of why we are a nation obsessed with what we eat… especially when it reminds us of home.
So it's no secret why the stakes in this fight are high between fans of each brand. It's who they are.
Amanda and Bobby Oakley (the couple who left their wedding reception to pose in front of a Wawa) actually did meet each other in a store, late one night. Now, their 1-year-old son (who, frankly, wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Wawa) rides with them on their runs -- usually not that late though, with bedtimes and all.
"We're starting him off early," Amanda said. "He can really only eat the mac & cheese right now. But trust me, the second he's old enough, we're going to get him a Wawa hoagie. We need to raise him properly, right?"
Right or wrong, I know about 1.3 million Sheetz fans who would probably disagree.
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