Cary, NC- After much anticipation, Publix supermarket has opened in Cary at the corner of Davis and High House Roads. A development that started with controversy in 2007, has come full circle to be embraced by the community in 2014. CaryCitizen stopped in for “Media Day” on Tuesday, October 28th, the day before Publix would fully open its doors to the public.
The crowd of approximately 50 included media, public officials and Cary Chamber members who were wowed by a tour of the retail location. At the start of the event, the management proudly awarded $500 checks to the ten schools closest to Publix. These included: Carpenter Elementary School, Chesterbrook Academy, Davis Drive Elementary School, Davis Drive Middle School, Green Hope Elementary, Green Hope High School, Hatcher Grove Christian Academy, Hopewell Academy, St Michael The Archangel, and Weatherstone Elementary School.
The freestanding area called “Simple Meals” offers samples and suggestions seven days a week. The store’s “Meals Expert” is always cooking up something that customers can try. If you like what you sample, there is a case adjacent to the station where all of the meal’s ingredients are conveniently stocked. There’s even a wine to pair with your meal!
Recipe cards are handy, along with cookbooks. Publix has an online recipe guide, that will help you select meals by dietary restrictions, prep time and ingredients. Then you can order the items and pick them up at the store. George Jetson anyone?
Meats and Fish
The fresh meats area includes a sushi station where sushi can be made to order. Fresh fish is delivered six times a day. Fish can be purchased whole, cleaned and prepped as steaks or filets for you at the counter. They can even cook your order for you while you wait! Meats are carved onsite- customers can ask for something to be cut to their recipe specifications.
Health and Wellness and Pharmacy
The Health and Wellness area includes a full service pharmacy where you can have your flu shot, check your blood pressure and find out your BMI. They offer tDap Shingles and Pneumo shots as well and will file with your healthcare provider. Within the department a freestanding computer can be used to access health information, to find out about supplements, dietary needs, and download recipes. These can then be emailed to you at home.
The Event Planning area is more than the typical grocery store veggie platters. The store staff can actually come out to consult at your business or home and deliver cold items free of charge for orders over $150. The office-like space in the center of the store offers wedding cake tastings, and can coordinate deliveries from the Deli and the bakery and get your ice and paper goods too!
The produce area includes organics that are displayed alongside their non-organic cousins. Flowers are cut fresh daily and include a seven day guarantee of freshness. Fruit bowls are prepared everyday. If you want a smaller package than what is on display, ask a team member and they will re-bag your produce to the size you need.
Not sure you will like an item? Ask for a sample. Maybe a package of produce is more than you wish to buy? The staff can break it down to a smaller size for you. Worried about cutting that butternut squash? Staff can slice produce to order as well.
No Loyalty Card
There are no loyalty cards (VIP, VIC or otherwise) but the chain says they have at least 30 items in store that are BOGO (Buy One Get One). But you don’t have to buy two, if you buy one of the sale items, you receive the 50% off pricing.
The store is based in Florida and was founded in 1930. This store will employ 138 team members. There are currently 1,088 stores in a six-state Southeastern region. Overall they employ 165,000 people and they rank as #104 on the Fortune 500 list, with over $428 Billion in sales annually.
Service Makes the Difference
Service is the message that came across loud and clear at the media day. Something many of us feel is lacking in the current move toward bigger warehouse style shopping. Publix opened the same day as the new Harris Teeter (the 10th in our area alone). Let’s see if they can shake things up a little in the grocer wars. From where my home is located I can visit one Lowes (another closed) a Krogers, Fresh Market, two or three Harris Teeters, a Food Lion, Trader Joes, Aldi, and a little further away, Whole Foods. Soon an Earthfare is slated to open in Morrisvill’e Park West.
With the addition of Publix, Western Cary truly has plenty of supermarket choices.
Story and photos by Lindsey Chester.
Food coverage on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Whisk of Cary, celebrating their first year at Waverly Place.