It has been going through the Winslow Council, Zoning and Planning departments since last year, but just a few months ago approval was given for a new Royal Farms Convenience and Gas store to be constructed at the corner of Cross Keys Road and Johnson Road.
To put the location into perspective, this corner is currently a large farm on the Winslow side of Cross Keys, with a “classic” Wawa store on the opposite side of Johnson Rd, and “catty-corner” from the existing shopping center which is home to Rite Aid, a strip center including Tony Luke’s, and further down is Friendly’s, Tilted Kilt and Tractor Supply.
The full farm property is approximately 17 acres (according to township meeting minutes) and Royal Farms is splitting off 2 acres at the corner to build their new store.
Wawas are all over our region (of course) but this is the closest example I am aware of, where a Wawa and Royal Farms will be basically next to each other battling for consumer convenience dollars. Considering the Wawa at this intersection is a “classic” store with no gas pumps and tight parking, this could be a tough battle at this location for Wawa. For customers it may come down to; Better coffee? Better hoagies? I want chicken! I want gas!
This is all part of the continued rapid growth of the Winslow side of Cross Keys Road, which started after the town finished connecting their sewer lines to the Camden County system, enabling Winslow to open up development which had years ago been stalled. Projects such as Carmax, Republic Bank, shopping centers, and the recently posted Aldi store could have only happened because of the recent County sewer connection.
I think by now everyone is familiar with the Royal Farms Convenience and Gas stores, but for posterity… here is a brief description from Royal Farms representative Chase Gunther, as presented in the town meeting minutes:
Mr. Gunter provided testimony as to what Royal Farms offers, hot and cold foods, world famous fried chicken and healthy on the go type options as wells as provide seating inside and outside. This proposed store is 5167 square feet, an open floor plan with seating 4 tables with 2 chairs each, and 7 to 10 stools where you can sit and eat and outdoor seating. The virtual tour was shown on the screens with Mr. Gunter providing a description of what we were viewing. There are 8 gas locations for this location. The hours of operations will be 24 hours.
This Royal Farms store depiction is from local news blog South Jersey Observer, (used with permission) where they posted details on the new Bellmawr location. While this rendering is not 100% confirmed that the new Winslow location will be exactly the same, they are expected to be similar.
While there are MANY similarities to our familiar Super Wawas, two distinctive features are the offer inside seating and maybe the most notable thing is, they are famous for their fried chicken. Check out my ridiculously long video tour of a Royal Farms in Pennsylvania, where I overview the store and their food offerings.
And its far from done for this area! As you can see there is still a LARGE parcel of farm land around that Royal Farms and with the first commercial property going it its only a matter of time before something else fills that land.
And… I am also working on another story for this area of Cross Keys, as well as another one down the other end of the road (which I have the info on but just need to get a photo).