"We have customers all the time asking us you know, where's the wine department, where's the wine section?" said Brenda Reid, spokesperson for Publix Grocery Stores.
Reid says it's an issue they've been working on for several years. It began when they partnered with the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association, to get the state to approve allowing local municipalities to place the issue on the ballot.
"Since we came into the market in Tennessee several years ago, our customers walk into the store, expecting to see wine. You know because they have shopped with us in other states," said Reid.
That's why customer Gayla Smith signed the petition Tuesday morning.
"I've only been here about three years but every other state I've lived in you can go into a grocery store and purchase beer and wine. To have beer in here and not wine doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever," said Gayla Smith.
Some customers do not care either way.
"I don't really see why anyone would be against it - for it, simply out of convenience, getting your food and wine in the same place," said Stephanie Golden.
As of Monday, the Hamilton County Election Commission says three municipalities have enough signatures to get the wine referendum on the ballot: Red Bank, Lakesite, and East Ridge. Commissioners are starting to count up the larger municipalities, including Chattanooga, Collegedale, Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain, Soddy-Daisy, Walden, and the unincorporated areas of Hamilton County. The number of signatures each municipality needs is 10 percent of registered voters who cast a ballot in the last gubernatorial election.
The deadline to sign the petition is this Thursday, August 21. Petitions are available to sign at most local Publix and Bi-Lo stores.
By: Lauren St. Germain