April 21, 2016
Watch out Winston Salem, NC as Publix comes to town and empties out all of the other groceries stores around. Whether the people of Winston Salem know it or not, they are about to be taken by storm with one of the best grocery stores to hit the United States.
Publix Super Market was founded by the late George W. Jenkins, who started out as a grocery clerk at age 17 in 1925. It only took him a few months to become a manager of the largest store of that chain. By 1930 Mr. Jenkins opened his first store and called it Publix Food Store in Winter Haven, FL. After his success with two stores, he closed them both down in 1940 to open up his dream store called Publix Super Market. Jenkins had a vision of a store that would have marble, glass and stucco. The concept included such luxuries as air conditioning, fluorescent lighting, electric eye doors and terrazzo floors. Most importantly, Mr. Jenkins wanted every member, no matter what position they held, to be treated like family. This has all held true today, and has only gotten better over time.
Today, Publix is the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the United States and one of the 10 largest-volume supermarket chains in the country. There are a total of 1,077 stores throughout the Southeast region and it is ranked number 67 on this year’s list of the FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” as well as being on the list in years past.
Publix is not just great to its employees; they are also great for the community. Publix Super Market will distribute $3.73 million from their 2015 “Food for All Fundraiser,” to non-profit organizations throughout the Southeast that support the fight against hunger and are advocates for self-sufficiency on a local and regional level. Publix even promotes the opportunity to help non-profits, by clearly stating their interest and encouraging people to contact them if they would like sponsorship for their event or program.
Meanwhile, back to everyday living, when one drives up to Publix, they will not have to search hard for a parking space. The newest complexes are being built with parking decks underneath the store and elevators that transport the guest into the main grocery area.
Once in the building, you are greeted with a calm, cool ambiance, that is created by the lighting and the layout of the store. In each area you will find more options than most stores have for that particular category of food. I am a fan of the International section, and they do a great job of carrying some items never seen before. However, the area that people love the most is the deli and bakery sections. Publix takes a lot of pride in making sure their products are fresh, and offer many interesting options. The bakery, which happens to be my favorite, offers the best options of any grocery store I have been to, and can easily compete neck to neck with many bakeries in the New York City area, which is where I am from and the taste and quality that I grew up with. And, maybe, the best part is that Publix is not overpriced. They usually fall into the middle range from the cheapest to most expensive stores within a given area.
As Whole Foods Market is directly across the street from where the new Publix home will be, I asked a customer service clerk if he knew anything about the grand opening of Publix. He shared that some employee who had come in for lunch stated that there would be some new things being tested at this store, that they had not tried in any of their other stores. Although they would not tell the Whole Foods employee what those things were, the Whole Foods employee is excited to go find out more about it.
Anyone that I know, who knows of Publix, is waiting with baited breath for the opportunity to indulge in all that Publix Super Market has to offer. This new 53,800 sq ft. building is scheduled to open on Wednesday May 11th, 2016. Needless to say, you can be assured, you will see my face in the place on that day!