The Mr. George Gold Coin Award is presented to associates who go above and beyond their normal duties to provide exceptional customer service to our customers. This month’s Gold Coin Award recipient is Raymond Cruz from Store #415 in Palm Harbor, Florida. Raymond’s new to the Publix family and exemplifies all the great qualities Mr. George looked for in associates. Raymond’s story of how he came to Publix is very uplifting and inspiring.

09_Post1_MJL_GoldCoin_BodyImageRaymond moved to Florida from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria destroyed his family’s home. Shortly after, he applied to Publix and was hired in the Grocery department. While working at Publix, he’s been helping support his wife and children in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, he’s been separated from his family during his time here. One of his favorite things about working at Publix is the liberty it gives him to help Hispanic and Latino customers, who may have trouble speaking English. Raymond says, “I’m always most excited when customers come back to my store, specifically looking for me. It’s such a great feeling when you greet somebody and they greet you back!” During his Gold Coin Award presentation, his Store Manager connected with Raymond’s wife over FaceTime so she could watch the entire thing in Puerto Rico. Upon receiving the award, Raymond shared with us, “To me, it was a surprise. I’m very proud of being a Publix associate. My family in Puerto Rico is very happy and proud of what I am doing here. This makes me very happy.” When he’s not working on the sales floor, associates describe Raymond as a little hyper, but in a good way. In the back room, he has an interesting way to use a pallet jack. He counts out the lifting of the pallet jack like he’s in the gym. “One…two…three!” Associates and friends describe Raymond as a very caring associate who’s always willing to help the team. When he’s not working, Raymond enjoys DJing, MCing and doing his comedy show routines in restaurants.

The Story:

Publix customer, Angelina, sent us this month’s story about Raymond’s interaction with her son at Publix. When we spoke to her about the event, she told us that it happened so fast, she just had to snap a photo because Raymond was so kind. Her son, Joshua, wasn’t feeling well in the car on the way to school, so they stopped at Publix for a school snack. They walked down the snack aisle and Raymond immediately stopped Joshua to compliment him on his favorite yellow boots and give him a big high-five.

Raymond noticed that Angelina was in a hurry and quickly searching for her son’s favorite cookies. He helped look with them and was chatting with Joshua when Joshua suddenly sat down in the middle of the aisle because he was feeling weak. That’s when Raymond sat down next to him and the two of them chatted about Joshua’s favorite cookies and maybe settling for a new option. Angelina felt like Raymond was so compassionate for willing to just sit there and chat with her son in the middle of the aisle without even knowing that her son has an illness that will sometimes make him weak.

With such an inspiring story of his own, Raymond defines so many traits and great examples set forth by our founder, Mr. George. Angelina summarized her interaction with Raymond by saying, “When Joshua and I are thrown a rainbow, it never goes unnoticed and last night, Raymond was our rainbow.”


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.

Leave a Comment   (Comment Policy)