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Publix opens in Matt Community
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The 48,500-square-foot Publix store at the intersection of Matt Highway and Bannister Road will anchor an 81,000-square-foot retail plaza that will feature a mix of restaurants and other businesses - photo by For the FCN

Grocery shopping just got a little easier for residents living in the Matt Community in North Forsyth.

On Saturday, the new Publix grocery store located at the intersection of Matt Highway (Hwy. 369) and Bannister Road opened to the public.

Forsyth County District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, who represents the area, said the store would be a big change for the area while following in the footsteps of other grocery stores that had been in the area previously.

“The opening of the Matt Town Center is a first of many things -- it’s the first shopping center to open in this area as well as the largest commercial complex to open thus far under the new architectural guidelines of the Coal Mountain Overlay,” said Forsyth County District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, who represents the area.

“I am grateful it recognized the heritage of the Matt community in its name as it follows in the footsteps of other grocers like Loy Grogan, Roy Moore, Ollie Hurt and Leon Roland that came before them in this area. With a quality developer like Retail Planning Corporation, and a premier grocery store chain like Publix, we are happy to welcome them to our Matt community.”

The 48,500-square-foot Publix store will anchor an 81,000-square-foot retail plaza that will feature a mix of restaurants and other businesses, including Reveille Cafe, Laredo’s Cantina & Taqueria, Peaches and Pine, Great Clips, Alpha Nail Salon and the UPS Store.

The new Publix is the company’s 10th store in Forsyth County, and it is one of the company’s new models with all-natural and traditional products, along with a full pharmacy department including drive-thru window service.

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Ineal Milford, 94, is a lifelong resident of the Matt Community and a big fan of Publix’s fried chicken, and before the store opened on Saturday, Forsyth County Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills and officials with Publix and the Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce brought her the first fried chicken sold at the store. - photo by For the FCN

According to her family, one resident in particular is happy to see the store open.

Ineal Milford, 94, is a lifelong resident of the Matt Community and a big fan of Publix’s fried chicken, and before the store opened on Saturday, Mills and officials with Publix and the Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce brought her the first fried chicken sold at the store.

“They were over here between, 6:30 and 6:45 [a.m.], and they made her day. They made her day,” said her daughter, Rebecca Milford. “She still loves Publix, and she loves Brenda [Heard, her niece who got in touch with Mills to set up the visit.]”

Rebecca said her mother, a longtime school bus driver and cook at Jack’s Restaurant in Cumming, was a “fried chicken connoisseur” and even lived on the land with her parents where the store is when she was young. 

“She’s fried chicken all of her life,” Rebecca said, “and she knows what kind of fried chicken she wants.”