Watch the trailer for this very Pennsylvanian debate.
No matter where you travel in the United States, you’re certain to find regional food debates. You can drive all around the Northeast and never get a definitive answer on what you’re supposed to call a hero… or a hoagie… or a grinder? Good luck sorting out whether people in Ohio prefer Gold Star Chili or Skyline Chili. And no matter how beloved In-N-Out is, you’ll inevitably bump into Los Angelinos who prefer somewhere like Fatburger or Tommy’s.
In Pennsylvania, one of the big debates is Wawa versus Sheetz—two convenience store chains with many similarities, including offering sandwiches and other food that most would consider far better than your typical convenience store fare, but with the significant difference that Wawa was launched near Philadelphia on the eastern side of the state while Sheetz was founded in Altoona, a bit closer to Pittsburgh. (As a Philadelphian, I should also mention that Wawa is significantly better.)
Now, a documentary promises not only to cover the heated debate but also end it once and for all. Filmmaker Matthew Fridg is working on a film entitled, simply, Sheetz vs. Wawa, with the tagline, “We settle this here. We settle this now.” Fridg isn’t planning on releasing the film until next year, but it’s already gotten a buzz after he teased the project on Facebook to make sure there was interest. A trailer released in February has racked up over 17,000 views, which he believes proves people are into the idea.
The project will include things like delving “into the people that are the fans, the lovers of the brands,” Fridg explained to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Because actually the stores are not rivals; it’s the fans who created the rivalry.” He later added, “we will go on a journey, we may do a coffee taste test, we may do a side-by-side hoagie test, or we just may end up having a big tug of war between Sheetz and Wawa employees…. We want to make the movie fun and serious — but more fun than serious.”
As for his own leanings, Fridg currently works for a production company in Pittsburgh but claims he isn’t biased. “I’ve been exposed to both and while the Sheetz love is homegrown, I also like Wawa,” he told the Inquirer. Pfft… Good luck convincing the fine people of Delaware County!