Update: Not hearing back from either Wawa or the PrimoHoagies franchise, we will instead defer to readers who responded and said the hoagies were made by Publix, the supermarket chain with a major presence in Florida. Said one: “The platter holding the hoagies … is a common platter from Publix Supermarkets. They do make good hoagies as well.” So Publix it is and a hats off to them.
On Thursday, President Trump went to Florida to inspect damage from Hurricane Irma and, while visiting a mobile home estate in Naples, handed out sandwiches and fruit at a staging center there.
No less than the New York Times and the Associated Press both called the sandwiches “hoagies,” a term neither usually uses outside of a Philadelphia context. (It certainly looks like hoagies in the tray in the photo above.)
While hoagies are a staple of South Philly, that really can’t be said about South Florida — at least not yet. And the mention of them being handed out by the president during a visit to a disaster zone made us wonder: Who made them?
Our suspicions immediately fell on Wawa. The Delaware County-based empire of convenience stores cum gas stations has opened 115 locations in the Sunshine State in recent years and has plans for dozens more. One of the operating stores is on Radio Road, not far from the Naples Estates mobile home development the president visited Thursday. But Wawa hasn’t replied to email and telephone requests for comment.
An Internet search turned up another possibility with a local tie: PrimoHoagies. The Gloucester County-based firm has three franchises in Florida, including one Vanderbilt Beach Road in Naples. Corporate directed us to the to the manager there. We have reached out to him, but have not heard back.