CONCORD — Four students from Garnet Valley Middle School had the chance to see a recipe they created in their family and consumer science class turned into a limited-edition menu item served at their local Wawa this week.
The students, Giovanni Connigliaro, Indira Jakarian, Noelia Rane and Ella Ruston, watched proudly as Wawa officials unveiled the winning recipe, Chicken & Waffles, to a store full of customers, executives and elected officials.
The event grew from a Future Food Scientist program the company held at its Innovation test kitchen this past spring.
A class of 25 eighth-graders from Garnet Valley Middle School took part in Wawa Inc.’s Inaugural Future Food Scientist Program at its recently opened Wawa Innovation Center. The half-day field trip provided a behind-the-scenes look at Wawa’s process and standards for new concepts that the company is are working to bring to its chain of more than 800 convenience stores.
Students learned about how the company creates tasty new meals that are nutritional and marketable. Following their visit to Wawa the students were challenged to create their own concept product and present it to Wawa officials.
Another class will be held in October, the nomination process for other schools to apply for the program/experience are being accepted now through Sept. 15 at www.wawa.com/future-food-scientist.
"We wanted to do something a little innovative with the community and these kids gave us such insight," said Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens as he spoke to those in attendance.
“Wawa is proud to continue its commitment to the community by inviting local students into our txt kitchen to have hands=on innovative experience as they explore careers in food science,” said Mike Sherlock, chief product marketing officer. “We’re grateful for partners at Garnet Valley to bring this new product to life.”
“The students worked so well together” said Garnet Valley Middle School family consumer science teacher Connie Campbell when asked the secret to the winning entry. “The listened to the presentations in the lab and analyzed the ingredients and really did well.”
“We thought winnow combine sweet and savory,” said Indira Jakarian. “It’s a great dish.”
“It was really fun to create,” said Noelia Rane. “We brainstormed and came up with that.”
The students agreed that visiting the Innovation Center and seeing real world examples of food science careers had been an eye opener.
“It’s an amazing dream,” said Jakarian. “To see a job I could do, and have our recipe selected is great.”
For customers interested in trying the Chicken and Waffle special it is a limited-edition recipe, available at the Neemans Creek Wawa for one week. A portion of sales up to $1,000 will benefit Philabundance with funds helping programs serving residents in need in Delaware County.