Publix Super Markets Inc. is a Lakeland, Florida- based supermarket chain established in 1930. George W. Jenkins founded the employee-owned chain by opening a Publix market in Florida at Winter Haven. In 1935, he opened a second store in the same location with the name Economy Food Store, both of which thrived amid the Great Depression.

In 1945, he purchased 19 All American food stores, which he converted to Publix Super markets. The headquarters of the supermarket were moved to Lakeland, Florida from Winter Haven. During the years of expansion that followed the move, delis, distribution warehouses and full-service bakeries were among the introductions in its chain of operations. The company’s Presto! ATM was launched in 1982 and this saw the installation of ATM’s in all Publix’s stores. Expansion to other locations was made possible by its buying of 49 Albertsons stores in 2008.

The chain has set up locations in Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and most recently North Carolina. The retailer has plans of continuing its North Carolina expansion in 2013 and 2014 after opening its first two stores in the Charlotte suburb this year.

Publix is the recipient of many local, philanthropic, and national awards that include: featuring in Fortune 1998- 2012 as ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’, Supermarket News ‘Sustainability Excellence Award’ in 2009, Computer World from 2005 to 2012 featured in ‘Best Places to Work in IT’ award, among others.

Employees: Over 140,000

Locations: 1,056 and 2 new stores in Charlotte, N.C.

Other interests: Apron’s cooking schools, nine manufacturing facilities for Publix brand products, eight distribution centers for groceries.

Divisions: Atlanta, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Lakeland and Miami.