Three Orlando Businesses in Vintage Publix Buildings

The first Publix Supermarket in Winter Haven, FL.   Similar stylings can be seen on the Orlando buildings listed below.

The first Publix Supermarket in Winter Haven, FL. Similar stylings can be seen on the Orlando buildings listed below.

Publix

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.

Dexter's of Thornton Park Now a popular brunch spot, this building was constructed in 1936 and the first Publix in the area.

Dexter’s of Thornton Park

Now a popular brunch spot, this building was constructed in 1936 and the first Publix in the area.

First Class Dry Cleaners Once the site of a large Publix Supermarket, today this Orange Blossom Trail building is a dry cleaner.

First Class Dry Cleaners

Once the site of a large Publix Supermarket, today this Orange Blossom Trail building is a dry cleaner.

Colonial Photo and Hobby A local icon in itself as a photo and hobby shop in what was once a Publix Supermarket.

Colonial Photo and Hobby

A local icon in itself as a photo and hobby shop in what was once a Publix Supermarket.

An Orlando Publix ad from the 1947 Morning Sentinel Bacon at 56 cents a pound!

An Orlando Publix ad from the 1947 Morning Sentinel
Bacon at 56 cents a pound!

Categories: Retro Lists | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Three Orlando Businesses in Vintage Publix Buildings

  1. You’ve done it again, Steve… love the photos you come up with, and the stories therein!

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