The first Publix store to open in the Birmingham area was right here in the Vestavia Hills City Center on Montgomery Highway on Oct. 23, 2002, and now nearly two decades later it’s bringing its slogan “where shopping is a pleasure” to two new stores to Vestavia Hills. Over in Liberty Park, The Marketplace at The Bray Publix at 3201 Endeavor Lane is set to open this spring with a tentative although not confirmed opening date of March 18. In Rocky Ridge, a Publix was announced for Rocky Ridge Square when Western closed a year ago, but it’s too early for the grocery store to release details on that location just yet. For now, though, we chatted with Publix’s Brenda Reid about the Liberty Park store, the chain’s growing footprint in the streets around us and #PubSubs apparel.

What will The Bray location in Liberty Park offer?

The store will be 48,100 square feet and will have a unique layout with an expanded deli department located at the front of the store. It will feature traditional items as well as fresh deli smoked meats, sushi, fresh soups and a variety of prepared foods for easy pick-up. It will have mezzanine seating for customers who want to enjoy their meal in the store, and free Wi-fi will be available.

What is Publix‘s footprint in the Birmingham area?

We currently have 25 stores in the Birmingham area, 77 stores in Alabama and a total of 1,241 stores throughout the Southeast.  We have one distribution center in McCalla.

What are a few of the most popular items in your stores?

Publix Subs or #PubSubs have a tremendous following. Customers speak of our subs with so much affection you would think it was a close friend rather than a sandwich. You can even buy Publix Sub T-shirts or lounge pants with tiny little subs printed on them online. We also have socks, hoodies and fanny packs featuring the popular sandwich too. Also our decadent desserts are to die for and our fried chicken will make you stop frying chicken at home forever You have to taste it to believe it.

What’s something shoppers might not know about the Publix brand?

Todd Jones, CEO of Publix Super Markets says, “Publix is in the customer service business. We just happen to sell groceries.” We hang our hat on providing excellent customer service. Our secret sauce is our associates.

How do you decide on these Vestavia Hills locations?

People ask me all the time how or why we choose a location. There are so many variables such as future growth, number of rooftops, competition or a lack thereof. We don’t share specific reasons due to the competitive nature of the retail industry.