Here in the South we have a lot of grocery stores to choose from. Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Greenwise  you name it, we’ve got it. But everyone knows that these stores pale in comparison to the most glorious one of all — Publix.

“But it’s just a grocery store,” you say. And that’s where you’re wrong. Shopping at Publix is an experience, and if you’ve never had the opportunity, here’s what you’re missing out on.

1. The Pub Subs

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Photo courtesy of publix.com

Ahhh, the Publix sub. Known by its true fans as a “Pub sub,” this delicious combination of flavors is reason alone to stop by a Publix. You see, the Pub sub is not an ordinary sandwich. Made with quality meats, cheeses, and super fresh veggies, the Pub sub is a work of art that rivals the Mona Lisa.

#SpoonTip: 3 words — chicken tender sub. Do it.

2. The Mascot

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Photo courtesy of divinesavings.com

Does your local grocery store have a cute mascot? Didn’t think so. Meet Plato, the adorable dinosaur (a Publixaurus, to be precise) who’s always reppin’ the Publix brand. He occasionally stops by stores and greets the kiddos, and he’s even featured in a few animated short films. Jealous much?

3. The Layout

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Ever walk into a grocery store and end up spending 20 minutes looking for eggs because the layout makes zero sense? Yeah, not gonna happen at Publix. Everything is strategically organized so that items are exactly where you expect them to be. And if they’re not, a friendly green polo-clad employee will show you the way without a hint of condescension.

4. The Bakery

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This isn’t your run-of-the-mill supermarket bakery filled with stale bread and 3-day-old muffins, y’all. Everything is baked fresh daily by the hands of angels, aka Publix bakers. With baguettes, croissants, cakes, and even empanadas, no trip to Publix is complete without a pit stop at the bakery.

5. The Displays

Our fall lobby #publix #autumn #falldisplay #pumpkins #mums #candy #itsspooky #publix873

A photo posted by Suzanne Spindler (@suzannespindler) on

As you can see from the photo above, Publix is killin’ it in the display department. If this doesn’t make you want to drink a pumpkin spice latte and eat candy corn, then IDK what will.

6. The Generic Brand

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Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

As college kids, we ain’t got money for fancy shmancy name-brand products. Lucky for us, Publix understands #thestruggle and offers an awesome generic brand for just about everything. The packaging is super simple, but in a cool, minimalistic way that makes your pantry look like you’ve got your sh*t together.

7. The Employees

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Photo courtesy of publix.com

Publix employees are pretty much the nicest, most helpful people ever. Okay, so maybe they’re just doing their job, but they always do it with a smile on their face. The company offers fantastic employee benefits and has consistently been named as one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Now that’s a reason to smile.

8. The Aprons Cooking School

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GIF courtesy of giphy.com

That’s right, Publix has its very own cooking school (in select stores). The classes range from Basic Knife Skills to Sushi 101 to a Homemade Pasta class for couples. Most classes are about $50, which is pretty cheap considering all the skillz you’re gonna learn (and food you get to eat).

9. The Deals

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Deals on deals on deals. Publix is basically an extreme couponer/broke college student’s dream. There’s always some sort of big sale going on, be it BOGO chicken breasts or 2 for $10 lobster tails. In other words, YAAAAASSSSS.

10. Online Ordering

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No more standing in line at the deli counter for twenty minutes behind the lady that can’t decide how thick she wants her ham sliced. With just a few clicks, you can order your lunchmeat or sub, shop while you wait, and then pick up your order before you checkout. Thanks, technology!

11. Free Samples

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GIF courtesy of giphy.com

They say not to shop when you’re hungry, but that doesn’t apply to Publix. There’s always a kiosk giving out free samples and recipes cards so you an replicate the dish at home. Still hungry? The deli counter always gives generous samples when you order lunchmeat. In the words of Publix’s #1 Fan (aka my mom), “You can eat a whole lunch at the deli counter!”