Everybody knows that animals make the best of friends. They’re there when you need them, show unconditional love and are guaranteed to make you feel better when you’re down. When a pet passes away, it can take years to fully recover from the emotional loss of your four-legged best friend. A Publix customer, James, who shops in store #1153 in Bradenton, Florida recently lost his Maltese when he was struck by a car in the street in front of his home. “The whole incident happened five feet in front of me and absolutely crushed my world. He was my little buddy, who did everything with me,” James told us.

Gold Coin AssociatesJames is a frequent Publix shopper, who goes in twice a week on the same days and roughly around the same time. “I always see the same two sweet gals at the registers. Their names are Kathy and Leslie. They’re as sweet as can be and are always there when I go in for my groceries.” Kathy has been with Publix since 1994 and Leslie since 2014. Kathy loves helping customers find products they’re looking for and enjoys seeing the customers who will wait specifically to see her. When she’s not working, she enjoys gardening and spends her days in the backyard. Leslie enjoys visiting theme parks and spending time with her dog, often taking her dog on long walks. Leslie has regular customers who come specifically to see her.

“One of our favorite customers is James, who we see every week!” Leslie said, smiling. James broke the bad news to Leslie and Kathy about his dog during one of his recent shopping trips. “They were both so concerned for me and could tell how broken up I was over my loss.”


Gold Coin Associates and CustomerThe Story

After the passing of James’ dog Leslie and Kathy knew what they had to do. In true Publix form, they stepped up to the plate and provided the premier service Mr. George instilled in all Publix associates. “We couldn’t stand to see him so sad. James is usually so joyous and always smiling when he’s shopping but the past couple of months, we could tell he wasn’t himself,” Kathy stated. The two found a local animal rescue, which was having a large sale on the weekend including animals from other nearby rescues, with a lot of dogs that were ready to be adopted. “We were pretty insistent in telling James that he should go!” Kathy laughingly said. Kathy and Leslie met James there on a Saturday morning at 9 a.m. It was far from where they all lived, but they were determined to help.

James found a little dog that he liked and a worker at the rescue let him in to meet the puppy. James told us about meeting the dog, “He was playing with me. He was so cute and excited to play. It was love at first sight!” James decided that he was ready to take him home and become his new best friend. “When I was filling out the papers, and it was time to pay for everything, the woman at the rescue told me that it had already been paid for. Umm…excuse me? By who?” I asked. The worker pointed in the direction of Leslie and Kathy who stood smiling. They wouldn’t accept James’ multiple attempts to pay. “I was so blown away by their generosity and will forever be thankful to those two. Those are the types of associates Publix employs and is the reason I’ll shop there forever.”

“I wasn’t aware of the Mr. George Gold Coin Award until I received it and was happy to be recognized,” Leslie shared.

Have you ever witnessed an associate going above and beyond at your local Publix? Share your story with us on FacebookTwitter, via our Contact Us page or give our Customer Care team a call at (800) 242-1227. To read the stories of other recipients of the Mr. George Gold Coin Award, check them out here.

Matthew L.

Written by

Matthew started with Publix in 2009. After working his way up to a Publix Manager, Matthew decided to make a change from retail and pursue his passion for writing. Matthew enjoys hearing stories from the people he's writing about and loves the Publix culture. Outside of work, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife, son and their dog. They love to explore all that Central Florida has to offer.

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