FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The Publix grocery store chain is expanding its reach in the Sandhills. The brand new store opens Saturday on Raeford Road.
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It's been the talk of the town. After months of construction, Publix is finally opening its doors. Many say it's worth the wait.
"I think when you walk in. It's very open and you see where everything is and find your way through the store. Without a whole lot of assistance," said Thomas Hatch.
But if you do need assistance, there's Deli Manager Stephanie Butler.
"You have some customers who are having a bad day. Something is going on in their lives and you can connect with them. We'd say 'Oh you came for dinner and a show' and then we're laughing and cutting up with them," Butler said.
Butler was serious about the show. In addition to the hot bar, easy-to-find aisle, signature wine selection and organic shop, Publix boasts its Simple Meal Solutions: A live cooking demonstration that shows customers how to prepare 15-minute meals.
Publix opened its doors to the media and local leaders ahead of the grand opening. But they also opened their hearts, showing their commitment to education by presenting area schools with $5,500.
"It opens up an opportunity for our kids to have an after-school job," said Principal Thomas Hatch, Terry Sanford High School.
We have a great culinary program. So I think this is a good opportunity for our students," said Douglas Byrd High School Principal Dr. Zoletta Taylor.
A great opportunity for schools and the local economy.
"Having this redevelopment of Raeford Road and Tallywood Shopping Center is so important for the corridor, neighborhoods that surround it. It's nice. It's reassuring that there is continued growth in our community," said Mayor Nat Robertson.