Publix is the largest and fastest-growing employee-owned supermarket chain in the United States and the Florida-based grocer is opening its first Gastonia store on July 6 at 7 a.m..

The new supermarket is at 1949 Hoffman Road, in the Hoffman Village; a spot formerly home to Lowes Food.

The Gastonia store will be the company’s 15th in the Charlotte metro, which includes parts of South Carolina.

Publix shoppers will enjoy many departments including a full-service deli, with a large selection of prepared foods created in-house daily. That includes a hot soup and salad, hot bar with Pan Asian food and sushi made fresh daily. Custom-made subs can be pre-ordered online.

The produce department will carry organic and conventionally grown fruit. The bakery offers an assortment of cakes, cookies and pies, with bread and rolls made fresh daily. Publix also offers wedding cakes.

In addition, the store has wine, full-service meat and seafood departments, as well as a pharmacy. They also have an event-planning center to help with parties and gatherings.

In preparation for the opening of Publix’s latest store, other area grocers have been updating their stores with wider isles and new produce sections. Gastonia can look forward to the opening of a new Harris Teeter at Kendrick Road and Robinwood Road later this summer. This grocery upgrade has been well needed since the closing of the Lowes Food Stores and Harris Teeter Stores in 2015.