Holly Famulari can't wait to come to work every day.
The cake "wizard" (decorator) at the new Lowes Foods supermarket dances and waves a wand in front of the store's cake-making corner when the music begins to play for a game of cake walk.
"You work, but you have so much fun doing it," said Famulari, who once worked at rival Harris Teeter as a cake decorator.
The 50,000-square-foot grocery store opens at 10 a.m. Wednesday on Dorchester Road in Summerville, directly across from no-frills grocer Aldi. It's the first store in the Charleston market for the North Carolina-based supermarket.
Another is planned for Mount Pleasant and there's talk of two others in the works for the Charleston region as part of the 77-store chain across the Carolinas.
"It's not a grocery store," company spokeswoman Kelly Davis said. "It's an experience."
Customers are referred to as "guests" and workers call themselves "hosts." Checkout lanes are named for roads in the Charleston area.
Shoppers can snip fresh herbs, enjoy square cakes and even grab a growler at the beer den in the colorfully decorated Oakbrook Station Shopping Center store.
There's pizza and paninis, a variety-laden tomato bar, 50 flavors of fresh sausages, select cuts of meat, more than 80 kinds of cheeses and a broad selection of wine.
In the wine section, where a wooden floor resembles a wine barrel, a light shines on the selections through a rotating windmill, which Lowes workers call a sunmill.
In the meat section, when Lowes employee Chris Van Parys completes the ringing of an iron triangular dinner bell, employees gather around and yell, "Yeehaw."
Over in the bakery section, other workers holler out, "Hot fresh cookies," when a new batch rolls out of the oven.
At the chicken kitchen, when one of the birds comes out of the oven, employees gather out front and do the chicken dance and clap under an animated Cooper the Chicken mascot hovering from the ceiling.
Those are among the many rituals shoppers will find at Lowes Foods.
"We are not like a regular grocery store," Davis said.
"It is a lot of fun," said employee Robin Griffin of one of the Myrtle Beach-area stores. "It's not a job. It's a career. I look forward to coming to work every day."
In the "Pick and Prep" herb area, customers can order what they want and not more than they need.
"This is the No. 1 thing that people said they are excited about," Davis said.
It's the same in the spice section.
"If a recipe calls for a particular ingredient, you can buy a small quantity of it," Davis said. "It goes back to what you need when you need it."
A wall-sized calendar of upcoming events at the store's large picnic-style community table greets customers as they walk in the door.
The table offers details on everything from ice cream day to cookie recipes, and the calendar is constantly changing.
"The idea is to inspire guests to try something new and something different," Davis said.
Over the door at the front of the store, a sign reads: "Welcome to our farm."
"We want it to feel like you really are entering a farmers market," Davis said. "It's essential that you see floral at the front of the store."
The company is all about local products and during a recent vendor fair for the new store, the grocer saw more local product makers than ever before.
"It was the best vendor fair we have ever had," Davis said.
The new supermarket now carries a variety of items from more than 50 Charleston-area product makers. They include creams, chocolate bars and olive oil, just to name a few.
"Whenever we can go local, we go local," Davis said. "We are interested in helping to support local vendors and getting them into other markets. We feel like they are our children and they will be graduating."
Before the company agrees to place a store in any area, it does in-home visits with residents of the community, asking them what would cause them to shop at its supermarkets.
It did that in Summerville and Mount Pleasant.
"We want to know what our customers want," Davis said. "For us, you have to see it, taste it and sense it."
And like many other stores, it offers grocery pickup through online orders.
Lowes Foods isn't the only grocery store chain opening a new supermarket in the Charleston area Wednesday.
Harris Teeter, also based in North Carolina and part of Cincinnati-headquarted Kroger Co., will open its newest store in the region at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Westwood Plaza Shopping Center at Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Ashley River Road.
The West Ashley supermarket is the company's 17th store in the Charleston metro market.