February is the month for spreading love. Whether it’s giving a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates to your loved one or giving your secret crush a Valentine’s Day card, February is all about going above and beyond to show your loved ones how much they mean to you. Here at Publix, we have our way of showing love to our associates who go further than their normal customer service duties. The way we do that is through our Mr. George Gold Coin Award. Perhaps this is your first time hearing about the Gold Coin award. If so, you can read more stories about past Mr. George Gold Coin recipients here.

This month, we have a very special story to share with you. Robert Sammons, the Assistant Customer Service Manager at Store #1292 in Gulf Shores, Alabama, has been serving our customers since 2009. He comes to work every day with the intent to treat his customers like kings and queens. He tells us, “I strive to make sure our customers leave the store extremely satisfied with their shopping experience. I try my best to make sure my associates and I provide them with the same level of service that Mr. George would give.” When he’s not at work, he still wakes up early to either watch soccer matches or go play soccer with his friends. Robert also enjoys traveling to music festivals across the country. He spends a lot of his time with his family, whom he credits with a great deal of his success with Publix. He enjoys getting to work with such a diverse group of associates. He says, “I love being able to help nurture associates’ growth in their careers within and even outside of Publix. Watching that switch come on in associates and seeing them realize their passion for working for Publix is special. We’re one big, extended family.”

When we asked Robert to describe the feeling when he received the Gold Coin Award, he felt like his story represented something that any and every associate would do for a customer. He shared, “Receiving the Gold Coin is a great recognition. It means that I did something Mr. George would be proud of, being passionately focused on customer value and perpetuating the Publix culture. Any time is the right time to make sure you’re doing the right thing and receiving this award proves that point. I’m extremely honored!”

The Story

It was a Monday afternoon in the middle of October in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Robert was working on the schedule for the upcoming week when his store received a phone call. He picked up and began speaking with a customer named Tracy. She began to tell Robert that she worked for a foundation that had just sent a little girl and her family to a beach house in Gulf Shores for an all-expenses paid vacation. Tracy told Robert that the daughter of the family  that was going on the vacation had terminal cancer and that this was, unfortunately, most likely going to be their final trip together as a family. Tracy asked Robert if he happened to know of any grocery delivery services that would deliver groceries to the beach house where they were staying. Robert shared with us, “I was going to offer Instacart, our Publix delivery service, but I immediately felt overwhelmed with emotion and knew I had to dig deeper and help in any way I possibly could. I told Kelly that I would personally shop their order and deliver it to the beach house.”

Tracy faxed the order to the store. Robert and his Customer Service Manager, Viki Radkova-Estepa, shopped the order. Robert called Tracy back and asked what the daughter’s favorite type of dessert is. When he heard it was chocolate cake, he went straight to the Bakery department and picked up a Chocolate Ganache cake.

Robert delivered the groceries to the family, spent some time talking with the daughter inside and left his cell phone number with the parents. He told them that if they have any food requests or cravings to personally call him and that he’d deliver it while they were in town.

We spoke with coworkers of Robert and each one said that he is very kind and caring, a great teacher and someone who treats everyone with respect. We couldn’t agree more and are thankful for everything he does for our customers.



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, check them out here.

Matthew L.

Written by

Matthew L. 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 and their dog, Edmund. They love to explore all that Central Florida has to offer.

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