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From the mid-1980s through the 1990s, George Jenkins was often spotted wearing his now-legendary Publix logo suit jacket. But where it came from is a story in and of itself. 

Former Vice President of Bakery Operations Gene Succow was known for wearing pants and jackets with different patterns and colors throughout the 1970s and 1980s. When the Danish Bakery mascot, Mr. Kringle, made his debut in 1979, it was applied to bakery associates’ uniforms. Shortly after, Succow personally commissioned a custom-tailored suit jacket to be made using the new uniform material. The goal was to show off the emblem at store openings and other events. Joe Blanton, who was named Publix’s president in 1973, had one made for himself as well. 

Succow and Blanton were so fond of their jackets, they decided it was only appropriate for Jenkins to have a special jacket as well. They worked with Publix’s uniform vendor to design the Publix “P” logo fabric and worked to make four custom jackets — one each for Jenkins, Succow, Blanton and Jenkins’ brother Charlie, who was chairman of the board at the time. 

In 1985, around the same time the jackets were made, the logo was registered as a trademark, which made these jackets unique and protected the fabric from being duplicated or reproduced. 

Jenkins wore his jacket to countless events like store openings, ribbon cuttings, banquets and even meetings. He wore it so often that it became stained, discolored and worn out — so his brother gave him his. 

That jacket is now in the care of Publix’s corporate archives. As for the remaining two jackets, they are still with their respective families.