By - July 1, 2018

One year anniversary for first Virginia store

Virginia

Time flies when you’re having fun

It’s hard to believe Publix opened its first Virginia store one year ago.

In 2017, more than 200 associates headed north to help open #1566, Glen Allen, Virginia, and lay the foundation for the future of Publix. Their goals: introduce our culture, standards and high-quality products to customers in our newest state and continue the tradition of delivering premier service.

We asked some of these pioneers to reflect on the first year in their new locations and what they look forward to in the future.

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Why did you want to relocate to Virginia?

  • “I had lived in Florida my whole life and wanted to be a part of opening the new market.” — Assistant Store Manager Ashley Griffin, #1594, Colonial Heights [transferred from #1346, Sarasota, Florida]
  • “I first relocated from Orlando, Florida, to open our first store in Asheville, North Carolina. I loved the experience of introducing Publix to a new market and wanted to share that in Virginia.” — Customer Service Manager Danielle Meyer, #1566, Glen Allen [transferred from #1473, Asheville, North Carolina]
  • “The opportunity for career advancement, and it was time for a change of scenery.” — Bakery Manager Angie Bacon, #1590, Henrico [transferred from #1263, Macon, Georgia]
  • “I had already relocated once: from Gainesville to Pensacola, when we started growing that market. I knew the challenge of working in a new market and wanted to share that experience in Virginia — and being a new state, it was kind of a big deal.” — Produce Manager Travis Babcock, #1591, Glen Allen [transferred from #1318, Pensacola, Florida]
  • “My wife, daughter and I had visited Virginia before — we really enjoy history — and moving here gives us new areas to explore.” — Store Manager Brad Hupp, #1592, Midlothian [transferred from #1503, Cullman, Alabama]
  • “It sounded exciting. Relocating was a new opportunity you don’t get to do that often.” — Grocery Manager David Shier, #1589, Glen Allen [transferred from #815, Leesburg, Florida]

What were your expectations going into relocating?

  • “My initial thought was the excitement of opening new stores and learning the ins and outs in preparation of becoming a store manager someday.” — Assistant Store Manager Ashley Griffin, #1594, Colonial Heights
  • “I was very excited but also a little nervous. I knew it would be very different in Virginia to onboard so many new associates and introduce Publix and our culture.” — Customer Service Manager Danielle Meyer, #1566, Glen Allen
  • “I was looking forward to creating the Publix culture in a new area.” — Bakery Manager Angie Bacon, #1590, Henrico
  • “My wife and I immediately started researching the real estate market and schools. We found the schools were really good in Virginia and it made financial sense to buy a house rather than rent. We visited Richmond twice before I was selected to transfer, and we knew relocation was the right decision.” — Produce Manager Travis Babcock, #1591, Glen Allen
  • “I’ve worked in a few states with Publix, but I was excited to be one of the first to come to Virginia and do something new.” — Store Manager Brad Hupp, #1592, Midlothian
  • “I was a military brat growing up, so I was used to moving. I sold my house, bought a travel trailer and did the tiny living thing for a while before I transferred to Virginia. I was ready.” — Grocery Manager David Shier, #1589, Glen Allen

What was the reality?

  • “I didn’t expect how much would be involved in hiring and training new associates, and how much we needed to learn about doing business in Richmond. But overall, the experience has been amazing.” — Assistant Store Manager Ashley Griffin, #1594, Colonial Heights
  • “I was surprised with how little awareness people had of Publix. They didn’t even know Publix was a grocery store.” — Customer Service Manager Danielle Meyer, #1566, Glen Allen
  • “At first, it was overwhelming and at times we have a new perspective of busy, but it’s been an exciting adventure.” — Bakery Manager Angie Bacon, #1590, Henrico
  • “It’s been life’s adventure. I expected the challenge of having minimal Publix culture, so I got to work being an ambassador with our associates and customers, and that has given me such a sense of accomplishment.” — Produce Manager Travis Babcock, #1591, Glen Allen
  • “My wife and daughter love it here, and I’ve learned so much about doing business in a brand new market. I’ve enjoyed sharing our culture and history with associates who didn’t know anything about us. And, our customers have given us such a warm welcome.” — Store Manager Brad Hupp, #1592, Midlothian
  • “My fiancée and I prepared for it by learning all we could before we transferred and once we relocated.” — Grocery Manager David Shier, #1589, Glen Allen

What has been your favorite memory from the past year?

  • “Family night at my store. I thought my store manager was going to cut the ribbon, but at the last minute, he changed his mind and handed me the scissors.” — Assistant Store Manager Ashley Griffin, #1594, Colonial Heights
  • “The very first day. It was crazy how many customers showed up; the line to get in wrapped around the building, and the excitement didn’t stop until we closed that night.” — Customer Service Manager Danielle Meyer, #1566, Glen Allen
  • “Helping at #1566’s grand opening. From the anticipation of the ribbon cutting to seeing all the people — some of them traveled 3 – 4 hours, just to see what Publix was all about — it gave me so much pride.” — Bakery Manager Angie Bacon, #1590, Henrico
  • “Closing on our house just an hour before the movers were scheduled to arrive. We were anticipating having to live in a hotel and putting our stuff in storage indefinitely. Another adventure!” — Produce Manager Travis Babcock, #1591, Glen Allen
  • “Seeing our leadership’s involvement. They’ve taken a vested interest in each of us, both personally and professionally.” — Store Manager Brad Hupp, #1592, Midlothian
  • “Our family night and grand opening — it was awesome seeing our associates buy into our culture and be motivated by our leadership. And personally, proposing to my fiancée at the new house we bought!” — Grocery Manager David Shier, #1589, Glen Allen

What do you enjoy most about Virginia?

  • “The seasons are amazing! Fall is beautiful, with the leaves and the colors. The snow is interesting. But spring has been my absolute favorite — the cherry blossoms are blooming everywhere!” — Assistant Store Manager Ashley Griffin, #1594, Colonial Heights
  • “I love Richmond. It has an old-school vibe with new blood. There are tons of old industrial buildings that have been converted, but they still have their original character. Everyone has been very welcoming. And, I love concerts and breweries, and the city offers a lot of those.” — Customer Service Manager Danielle Meyer, #1566, Glen Allen
  • “I’m closer to family and developing relationships with them.” — Bakery Manager Angie Bacon, #1590, Henrico
  • “We found a new support system of friends, and my wife found a job she’s happier with. It’s exciting to live in a bigger city, my kids enjoyed playing in the snow this winter, and overall, it’s delivered on all expectations.” — Produce Manager Travis Babcock, #1591, Glen Allen
  • “Exploring new areas like Virginia Beach and the mountains. You can go anywhere in Virginia and experience a little bit of everything.” — Store Manager Brad Hupp, #1592, Midlothian
  • “My fiancée and I enjoy antiquing and history. You can’t drive anywhere without seeing a historical marker. It’s amazing to live in a place where our nation’s founders once walked.” — Grocery Manager David Shier, #1589, Glen Allen

What are you looking forward to in the future?

  • “I’m most excited to see Publix grow and expand. I’d love to go to our next area!” — Assistant Store Manager Ashley Griffin, #1594, Colonial Heights
  • “I’m looking forward to seeing the associates I hired advance their careers. I have a huge focus on investing in my associates.” — Customer Service Manager Danielle Meyer, #1566, Glen Allen
  • “Growing with Publix.” — Bakery Manager Angie Bacon, #1590, Henrico
  • “We’re going to keep exploring. We enjoy camping, so we’ve been to Shenandoah National Park and driven Skyline Drive; it’s only about an hour and a half away. And we’re excited to explore Virginia Beach this summer. There’s tons of opportunities.” — Produce Manager Travis Babcock, #1591, Glen Allen
  • “It’s a great place for families, and we’re enjoying seeing our daughter grow up here. And for myself, I’m looking forward to career and self-development, and helping Publix open more stores.” — Store Manager Brad Hupp, #1592, Midlothian
  • “I’m looking forward to opening new stores, and maybe even moving further north.” — Grocery Manager David Shier, #1589, Glen Allen

Take a look back at where we were and how far we’ve come.

— 2,500 associates expressed interest in transferring to Virginia

— 244 associates transferred to Virginia in 2017 which includes

  • 8 store managers
  • 8 assistant store managers
  • 55 department managers
  • 54 assistant department managers
  • 119 non-management associates

— July 15, 2017 — Grand opening of our first Virginia store (#1566, Glen Allen)

— 8 Virginia stores open at the end of 2017

— 5 Virginia stores projected to open in 2018


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Relive the excitement of our first Virginia store opening.

Read the stories from one year ago.


If you’d like to join this exciting team and be part of Publix’s growth, complete the New Market – Expression of Interest form on PASSport. Once you submit the form, it will be active for six months. There’s plenty of opportunity to go around, and you will be contacted if the division would like more information.