Shopping has been a pleasure at Publix for Orlando residents since the 30’s. George Jenkins started his company in nearby Winter Haven in 1930. Despite the depression, his stores were successful businesses and Publix quickly grew throughout Central Florida. In 1940, he created Florida’s first supermarket. As described on Publix’s website, it was a “‘food palace’ of marble, glass and stucco, and equipped it with innovations never seen before in a grocery store. Air conditioning. Fluorescent lighting. Electric-eye doors. Frozen food cases. Piped-in music. Eight-foot-wide aisles. Open dairy cases designed to Mr. George’s specifications. In-store donut and flower shops. People traveled from miles to shop there, and Publix prospered.”
Today there are over 1000 Publix locations and dozens within Orlando. As new locations are added, the old buildings are sometimes left behind. The Publix in College Park has operated on the same site (though the building has been updated) for about 60 years, but most of the old Publix buildings have been torn down or repurposed.
Here are three existing buildings that represent vintage Publix supermarkets that now house other Orlando businesses.