In the 1940s, Publix supermarkets only carried a limited amount of bakery items. Some were provided by suppliers and other items were baked in the store.
In the 1950s, George Jenkins approached Emmett Lundy, owner of Lundy’s Bakery, to supply local Publix stores with fresh-baked goods on a consistent basis.
When Lundy retired in 1951, George Jenkins bought Lundy’s company and continued to supply the local Publix stores from this central bakery.
Mr. Jenkins saw the value and convenience that in-store baked goods would bring to customers. In 1957, the first Publix Danish Bakery store opened in the Southgate Shopping Center in Lakeland, Florida, located next to the store. Adjacent bakeries also opened in other locations, eventually moving inside the actual store as a bakery department. During the 1970s and 1980s, Publix opened just as many bakeries as they did grocery stores.
In 1972, the Publix Bakery plant opened in Lakeland, employing 27 associates. The focus was on having fresh baked products in every store and the plant was the support for helping our bakery system grow. Where Publix didn’t have bakeries in-store, a “box program” from the bakery plant with overnight delivery of fresh baked products was delivered five times a week. Ready-to-serve baked products such as muffins, crème cakes, cornbread and cupcakes were processed in the plant.
Today, the facility is about 225,000 square feet, with more than 400 associates producing a variety of delicious baked goods.
To keep up with demand, a second bakery plant opened in Atlanta in 2004.