Publix has held celebrations for their numerous milestone anniversaries over the years.
Reaching 25 years of business after starting during the Great Depression, Publix founder George Jenkins decided to commemorate this achievement with a special gift. He gave each of his 1,800 associates a silver coin. Not only was it valuable as a precious metal, but it was also a cherished memento.
In addition, a 34-page silver anniversary brochure was published with a message from Jenkins:
“In 25 years, Publix has grown from one small store to the present network of 28 modern supermarkets serving central Florida. We are, of course, extremely proud of this progress, but we know that without your help, it would never have been possible. The credit is yours, for in reality, you are Publix! So, to you — the patrons, the personnel, the producers and the processors — we dedicate this silver anniversary brochure.”
The next big milestone came 25 years later. 1980 was filled with celebrations commemorating the golden anniversary that marked 50 years. Every associate received an anniversary lapel pin and a gold medallion with Jenkins’ image on the front and the anniversary date on the back. When the design for the medallion was presented to him, he initially said no to having his face on the coin.
“Publix is a team; I’m not Publix,” he humbly said. But the Publix people adamantly persisted, and he finally gave in.
The number 50 was added to the company logo, and this design was used on signs and product packages. Many of Publix’s suppliers presented Publix with commemorative plaques, and the Coca-Cola company produced a special limited-edition bottle with the Publix anniversary label.
To celebrate the achievement of another 25 years of success and growth, a companywide birthday party took place on March 3, 2005. Stores were decorated for the occasion and customers were invited to sample special Aprons Simple Meal recipes.
Limited-edition commemorative items were sold like Publix toy tractor-trailers and anniversary Coca-Cola bottles. Every Publix associate proudly wore their 75 Years button, and the anniversary logo was placed on every truck trailer in the company’s fleet.
For their diamond anniversary in 2015, Publix included associates, customers and suppliers in celebrations focusing on the lessons from George Jenkins. The first Publix Serves Day was held, seeing 4,000 Publix associates across six states volunteering to support over 100 nonprofit organizations. Publix customers were randomly selected to receive various gifts.
In the community, the customer prize patrol surprised customers with random acts of kindness. These included visiting a local hospital and showering new moms with baby baskets, attending sporting events and upgrading seats, and randomly handing out thank-you notes with Publix gift cards enclosed, just to name a few.