Publix Super Markets were founded in 1930 by George Jenkins in Winter Haven, Florida.
In 1935, a second location was opened. In 1940, Jenkins mortgaged an orange grove to get the capital required to open Florida’s first supermarket.
In 1951, after rapid growth, a warehouse was opened in Lakeland. The Publix corporate office was also moved to Lakeland, where it still resides today.
By 1962, there were 85 stores. By 1969, there were 150 locations.
George stepped down as CEO in the 1980s and his son, Howard M. Jenkins, became the new CEO.
In 1991, the first non-Florida store was opened in Savannah, Georgia. In 1993, the company expanded to South Carolina. Expansion continued to Alabama in 1996.
George Jenkins passed away in 1996.
In 2009, Publix opened its 1000th store. The company currently operates nearly 1100 stores in the Southeastern US.
Publix announced that it would start COVID vaccine signups on Monday February 15, 2021, and that vaccines would take place starting Wednesday February 17, but these plans were canceled due to extremely bad weather.
Publix maintains a corporate office in Lakeland, Florida.