A new month brings a new featured Mr. George Gold Coin Award recipient story. Ryan Caplan, the assistant customer service manager at Store #1132 in Brooksville, Florida, received the Mr. George Gold Coin Award in January 2019. Since beginning his career with Publix in 2014, Ryan has followed the ideals our founder, George Jenkins, lived by. We spoke with Ryan and asked about some of his favorite things about working at Publix. Ryan told us, “At Publix, I’m given the opportunity to brighten people’s lives every day. From associates to customers, Publix employs me to spread enthusiasm and continue to build my family. From the moment I started at my first store to the store I’m at now, I consistently build a great group of friends and people I call my family.”

 The Story


Ryan met Charles, a Publix customer. “Charles began to tell me how he and his wife were prepping their Thanksgiving sides and desserts when their oven caught on fire and almost burnt their whole kitchen down,” Ryan told us about the interaction. Charles asked if there was anything Publix could do to help them for Thanksgiving. Ryan knew we sold holiday meals and went to the deli department to see if they had any extra cases available. With it being so close to the holiday, he was unsure if there’d be any left.

When Ryan returned, he had great news for Charles. The deli had a few dinners left and Ryan returned with one and offered to pay. Ryan stated, “I knew Charles had more pressing issues to worry about and I offered to pay for the meal for him. He was so gracious we had an extra meal for his family, but he then asked me a question.” Charles asked, “Can the deli cook this for me to pick up tomorrow?” “He didn’t have any family in the area and with no stove and oven, he didn’t have any way to cook. I could tell he was upset, not with Publix, but with the situation at hand, and I wanted him to enjoy his Thanksgiving,” Ryan stated.

Without hesitation, Ryan told Charles that he would take the meal home, cook it at his house and deliver it to Charles and his visitors on Thanksgiving. “He didn’t believe me but I assured him it was okay, as my brother was hosting our dinner and I had a free oven in the morning,” Ryan told us. By 9 a.m., Charles’ meal was in the oven, on time for his promised 1 p.m. delivery time.

When Ryan arrived, he realized that Charles lived on a farm in rural Brooksville with no neighbors for miles. Charles and his wife waited outside for Ryan and helped unload the meal he brought. Ryan stayed to help set up their dining room table and introduced him to his daughter and showed Ryan his horses and dogs, as well as the damage in the kitchen from the fire. Charles asked Ryan for his name and number and Ryan told him to call if he needed anything. The two exchanged hugs, took some pictures and Ryan went on his way. Ryan told us, “As I drove away from the farm to my brother’s house, my heart was full of love and joy to know that Charles and his family will have a hot meal this Thanksgiving.”

We finished our talk with Ryan and asked him about his favorite thing about working with Publix. “It’s like one big family. At any store I work at, they end up being a part of the family and the more stores I work at, the bigger that family becomes. Like Mr. George famously said, “Publix is like a smorgasbord, with opportunity spread out for you.” He couldn’t be more right! Working at Publix is really like no other company because the opportunities are endless.

“When I received the Mr. George Gold Coin Award, it validated that the philosophy I live by, I should always do the right thing,” Ryan stated. My favorite part of my current role as an assistant customer service manager is the impact I have on my associates. I get to create a fun environment on the front end of the store, which helps our customers smile. I love the ability to develop and craft future leaders for Publix.” His former and current associates agree. They told us that he’s very enthusiastic when he’s working and is a valuable leader, who cares for all and has a big heart. “I hope every customer can leave happier than when they entered, that they feel what they experienced and the product they bought was to the highest standards and worth the drive to our store. I hope the service they receive is premier and makes them choose to come back.”



Have you ever witnessed an associate going above and beyond at your local Publix? Share your story with us on Facebook or Twitter, via our Contact Us page or by phone 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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