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Publix puts a lot of time and hard work into building new stores, so grand openings are major events all on their own. 

The night before the store opens, Publix holds a special Family Night for associates and their families. This pre-opening celebration is a long-standing custom started by Publix founder George Jenkins. In the early days, the company would hold a dinner at a restaurant or local banquet hall and top executives made speeches and shared inspiring words of appreciation and encouragement. 

Today, associates and their families get a sneak peek at the new store before it opens. There are refreshments and sometimes entertainment, and top executives are on hand to congratulate the team. Each member of the store’s management team receives time in the spotlight when they are officially introduced to the crowd. To close the ceremony, the store manager accepts a commemorative key to the store. 

Another custom still in place today is the grand opening celebration. Special guests and local officials are invited to attend, and the store manager is introduced to the crowd. Before the doors open, store officials cut the ribbon and invite the public in to officially start their shopping experience. Over the years, ribbon-cutters have included city mayors, celebrities and other notable figures.