Hundreds turned out early Wednesday morning, Oct. 10, for the grand opening of a Publix supermarket on Battlefield Parkway in Fort Oglethorpe.

By 6:30 a.m., dozens of shoppers from Catoosa and Walker counties, as well as a few across the Georgia-Tennessee line from East Ridge and Chattanooga, waited in the morning mist and occasional light drizzle for the store’s long-awaited opening.

About 7 a.m. Julie Turp, general manager of the massive store, welcomed the eager crowd and thanked everyone for their attendance, support and patience in waiting for this special day. Then she and Fort Oglethorpe Mayor Earl Gray cut the ceremonial ribbon, marking the store’s grand opening.

Gray welcomed guests and the Publix team to town, saying, “This is a great day for this city.” He called the new market “a great asset for our city.”

Brenda Reid, media and community relations manager for Publix, said, “We are proud to bring the Publix shopping experience to Fort Oglethorpe.”

The store encompasses 46,797 square feet and employees nearly 150 associates. It features a full-service meat department, produce department, full-service deli, bakery, full-service seafood department, and a full-service pharmacy.

The company is a Southeast chain with 1,199 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Dee Decker is editorial assistant and reporter for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga, and for the Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

editorial assitant/reporter