Florida Guide > Shopping
PUBLIX – YOUR LOCAL SUPERMARKET
Shopping is one of the highlights of staying in Orlando, and even simple things like food shopping are different and interesting. Most of us will have heard of Walmart, but Publix is a little less known supermarket, which could be compared to Waitrose in the UK. We have a lovely Publix just round the corner from our villa which makes food shopping so convenient, as it is smaller than Walmart and sells only food, so it is quick to nip into for basics. Their slogan is " Where Shopping is a Pleasure, " and they certainly try to offer a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere in their shops.
Publix is actually one of the fastest growing supermarket chains in the US, and you will find them everywhere in Florida. Publix supermarkets are springing up all over Orlando, as well as in Georgia, S. Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama. Publix Supermarkets was founded in 1930 by George W. Jenkins and is based in Lakeland, Florida. Unusually, it is an employee-owned chain. With nearly 950 shops, it employs 400, 000 staff. We find that their staff are always helpful and friendly and they make a point of informing you that you should not tip those who pack your bags or wheel your trolley out to your car – a rarity in the USA. Service is paramount at Publix. Although smaller in size than Walmart, Publix supermarkets offer a wider range of foodstuffs as the whole store is dedicated to provisions. They also produce their own dairy, deli and bakery products, as well as numerous own brand items. We find their fruit to be of a high quality, and we especially enjoy their sliced melon and pineapple. They have a wide range of fruits and vegetables, and prepare some delicious salads and fruit salads.
Publix also have a wonderful Deli counter, where you can try anything before you buy. Indeed, you don’t actually have to ask, as whenever you order meat or cheese etc to be cut they automatically offer you the first slice to try. The only downside is that service is very laid back, and rather slow. Whenever a joint of meat is carved it is carefully wrapped up in cling film, weighed and replaced before the next customer is served. Amazingly, however long the queue is, nobody seems to get angry or fed up, and merely wait in line patiently. I cannot imagine this happening in our local Asda, where tempers would be frayed after a few minutes. That is one of the things I love about Florida, the laid back way of life. We really enjoy their roast beef, and often pick up some to have with jacket potatoes. It can be rather rare, but is quite delicious and very different from the dried up roast beef most UK supermarket delis offer. It is moist and tender and ideal for sandwiches, too. One of the best things is that you need not be afraid to ask for advice, or to try as many types of meat as you like before making your final purchase.
They also sell cooked chickens, chicken tenders, potato wedges etc. which are ideal for a quick meal. Our local Publix sells ‘Subway’ type rolls which you can have filled to order. They also bake their own bread and cakes and is the ideal place to order a special occasions cake such as for birthdays or anniversaries.
Of course you will also find all the usual items, but our local Publix has a special section just for the ‘Brits’ with such things as Heinz Baked Beans (which have to be imported) and McVitie’s Chocolate Digestive Biscuits, if you simply can’ t live without either of these.
So if it is food shopping you want, and if you don’t want to spend hours doing it, then pop into Publix. You won’t be disappointed.
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