In late April, our customer care department received an unusual request. A customer at #393, Jacksonville, Florida, called to inquire about special ordering pumpkin pies. He had just left the store and bought the last two available pies. The gentleman explained his wife was terminally ill and was not given long to live. For the past few months, she had no appetite for food — with the exception of Publix’s pumpkin pie. Dedicated to making his wife’s life as comfortable as possible, the customer was determined to purchase more pies.
The customer care team reached out to the bakery retail business unit on behalf of the husband and learned the seasonal item wouldn’t be available for order until after Sept. 1. But that didn’t stop Manufacturing Production Planning Manager David Oates, pictured above, and his team from trying to help a customer in need.
“We were able to find two cases of pumpkin pies in our plant freezer that had been kept as samples,” explained David. As soon as they located the pies, Atlanta Bakery Plant General Manager Chris Kelly and Senior Production Department Manager Josh Farnsworth made arrangements for their transport. The pies left on a shipment that same day and arrived in Jacksonville the next morning.
While #393 wasn’t scheduled for a frozen delivery that day, the Jacksonville distribution center team made special arrangements to have the pies delivered to the store as soon as they were received.
“All of us, working together, helped make the most out of a truly heartbreaking situation,” said David. “We seized this opportunity to make an emotional connection with this customer and provide premier customer service. Thanks to our amazing production, transportation, distribution and retail teams, we were able to get two cases of pumpkin pies delivered from the Atlanta bakery plant to a Jacksonville store in less than 24 hours.”
For their ability to operate as an agile and highly effective team, David and his team are recognized as our featured manufacturing associates for the My Publix, My Part program.