Wawa's Fla. architect buys Wawa's Pa. architect

(Updated 1/4 with comment from Cuhaci boss Jed Downs) Store designer Cuhaci & Peterson Architects Engineers Planners, Orlando, says it's purchased LMA Architects, Blue Bell, for an undisclosed price.

Cuhaci president James E. "Jed" Downs said LMA has designed stores for Media-based Wawa food markets since 1980. But Wawa picked Cuhaci, which has done jobs for Wal-Mart, Price Chopper, Food Lion and other East Coast grocery chains, as well as Red Lobster/Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants, for its recent Florida expansion. Relations between the two firms have been "collaborative and courteous," according to Downs.

Cuhaci expects to serve Wawa, a 600-store gas-hoagies-Cokes-snacks-smokes chain owned by its bosses, employees and members of the founding Wood family, in its future growth. Cuhaci employs 120. Previous LMA owner Oscar Martinez plans to stay on to help with the transition, and the firm's five employees will become Cuhaci's Philadelphia office, Downs told me.

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