Wawa vs. Dawa: Conglomerate forces N.J. small business to change name

Posted at 5:41 PM, Jun 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 17:41:05-04

PATERSON, N.J. — Dawa Pizza and Chicken has been in business on the corner of Lafayette and River streets in Paterson for three years, according to public records.

But a few months ago, Wawa filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the family-owned convenience store and won. Dawa has been ordered to drop it's name.

"Listen Wawa, leave Dawa alone!" a regular at the store, Louie Reyes, said on Tuesday. "They’re not bothering anybody."

Wawa has been expanding into northern New Jersey. In the past four years, they’ve opened stores in Bergen, Hudson, Union and Passaic counties. The closest Wawa to Dawa now sits in neighboring Garfield, N.J.

"You’ve got a place and somebody wants to come in and take your name, that’s not right," another Dawa customer said.

Dawa is owned by a Korean couple who did not want to speak about the lawsuit. Previously, owner Mike Han told reporters that Dawa means "welcome" or "come in" in Korean. Inside, they sell prepared foods like fried chicken and pizza.

Theirs is the only known Dawa store, while Wawa has 700 stores across six states and has been in business for over 200 years.

Court papers filed in May stated that Dawa has 90 days from the date of the filing to change it’s name or face a penalty.

Wawa's spokespeople have not yet responded to PIX11 News' request for comment.