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Chocolate chip cookies, cakes, breads, and muffins are just a few of the delights you’ll find in the Publix Bakery.  As one of our most visited departments, we love providing you with both sweet and savory treats. But our stores didn’t always have an in-house bakery. Do you know how we came to offer such delicious baked goods in our stores? Keep reading to find out!

Bakery History

In the 1940s, grocery stores carried only a limited amount of bakery items. Some were provided by suppliers and other items were baked in the store.

Around 1950, George Jenkins, the founder of Publix, wanted to offer customers more in the way 12_26_AJ_Bakery_Beginnings_Image2of baked goods. So, in an effort to do this, George Jenkins approached Emmett Lundy, owner of Lundy’s Bakery in Lakeland, Florida.

He proposed an idea of supplying local Publix stores with fresh-baked goods on a consistent basis. The proposal was accepted, and soon after, Lundy’s Bakery began delivering to Publix stores each day. When Mr. Lundy decided to retire in 1951, George Jenkins bought Lundy’s company and continued to supply the local stores from this central bakery.

Mr. Jenkins saw the value and convenience that in-store baked goods would bring to customers, and made a strong push to add bakeries to Publix stores. In 1957, the first Publix Danish Bakery store opened in the Southgate Shopping Center in Lakeland, Fla. It was located next to the store

Dale Olinger

Dale Olinger

in the shopping center. These adjacent bakeries spread to other locations, eventually moving inside the actual store as a bakery department with products baked fresh onsite in addition to products delivered from the central bakery. During the 1970s and 1980s, Publix opened just as many bakeries, as we did stores; if not more.

Fun Fact

The first Publix Bakery Manager, Dale Olinger, started our fruitcake recipe which is still in use today after more than 50 years!! Cool, right?

Expansion

In 1972, the Publix Bakery plant opened in Lakeland, employing 27 associates. Today, the facility is about 225,000 square feet, with more than 400 associates producing a variety of delicious baked goods. The focus was on having fresh baked products in every store and the plant was the support for helping our bakery system grow. Where we didn’t have bakeries at stores, a “box program” from the Bakery Plant with overnight delivery of fresh product was delivered 5 times a week. Ready-to-serve baked products such as muffins, crème cakes, cornbread, and cupcakes were processed in the plant.

In an effort to keep up with demand, in 2004, we added a second Bakery plant located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Fun Fact

One of the grand opening sale items in the first bakery was cinnamon rolls at 29 cents a dozen!

Highlights

1971  — Publix held a ground breaking ceremony for its 23,000 sq. ft. bakery plant on May 24, 1971.

1972  —  Publix held the grand opening of the bakery plant on February 20, 1972.

1975 — Publix expanded the plant with an additional 24,000 square feet.

1982 —  Publix celebrated the tenth anniversary of the bakery plant.

1983 — Publix had 165 bakeries. 152 of these were in-store, while 13 were free-standing bakeries adjacent to the Publix store. With every new store built, an in-store bakery was included.

1993 — Publix transitioned from “Danish Bakery” to “Publix Bakery.”

2004 — Publix opened a second Bakery plant in Atlanta.

Now that you’ve seen a few highlights of our Bakery’s history, take a look at how our bakery logo has changed over the years.

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Do you have fun memories of the Publix Bakery, or a favorite item? We’d love to hear about them. Share with us in the comments.

 

Aijana W.

Written by

If you love to read about ways to use your favorite products and foods in surprising ways, Aijana W. is going to be the blogger to watch. A member of the Publix family since 2014, Aijana loves to explore the diverse corners of social media and hopes you leave our blog with great ideas as well as a better sense of who Publix is as a company. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, dancing, trying new restaurants, and of course – eating Publix GreenWise Salted Caramel Ice Cream!

4 Comments on “Publix Bakery Beginnings

  1. James Sharp

    I grew up in Venice, Florida. The old “winged” Publix in Venice Shopping Center had the distinctive “arrow” sign out front (this style was shared by Lakeview SC in St Petersburg and others). Venice Shopping Center was (is) L-shaped. Publix occupies the middle of the main wing of the plaza which fronts Tamiami Trail. The old Danish Bakery at this location occupied a spot around the corner on the inside of the L. Between the grocery store and the bakery were a Beall’s and a Liggett Rexall Drug (not an Eckerd) as well as an (if I’m not mistaken) optician’s office. Also in the plaza was a Woolworth’s, Adams & Houser Hardware, a coin laundry, and a small jewelry store known as “Nick Nack Nook”. There was also, of course, an S&H Green Stamps store.

    My grandparents moved to Venice in 1966 and the plaza was there at that time (my parents, brother, and I followed a couple of years later). I believe that it was constructed in 1960 or 1961.

    Great memories! BTW…I’d have to dig to find them. But I’m pretty sure that I have photos of the Jacaranda Plaza Publix store which was badly damaged by the tornado in 1985.

  2. Don Harris

    The thing I remember the most wasn’t all the delicious decadence , but the smells , oh those delicious smells. they were so strong and full of flavor you could taste the flavors with out eating anything . I think I know what Ratatouille must have felt like. Thanks for the memories from 1969.

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