Years ago I worked with Michelle from Lakeland, Florida who told me the one thing she missed living in Birmingham was shopping at Publix. I wasn’t familiar with the chain at the time, but she assured me that I didn’t know what I was missing.
Now that Publix is well represented in Birmingham, I have to agree with her. Although I can’t say that Publix always has the lowest price on every item, I can unequivocally say that the quality is excellent, the stores are clean and bright, and they do make sure “shopping is a pleasure.”
I’m praising Publix now because they have continued to offer each of their Publix brand essentials at what they term a “surprisingly low price.” At first I worried this was a loss-leader gimmick that would only last a week, but as the prices have continued to be promoted for several weeks now, my hat’s off to employee-owned Publix for holding the line.
Publix’ list of essentials includes milk, orange juice, bread, ground chuck, vanilla ice cream and Cheerios; in other words, the items that are always on the list and that are most likely to force a mid-week grocery run. Although I would normally look for the quickest place to get in and out for an in-between grocery trip, these prices and the pleasant interior are enough to coax me into full-size Publix rather than the corner pharmacy for milk.
Another thing I like about Publix is that they positively glorify the home cooked meal. I am the first to admit an unbecoming dependency on take out and convenience foods in a pinch, but Publix inspires me to aim higher whenever I can. Every Wednesday circular has an Apron’s Simple Meals plan that includes shortcuts and tips, and they always plug the fact that you can feed a family of four for markedly less than cost of a restaurant meal. They have an excellent publication of Thrifty Tips.
I’ll offer them one more compliment: This is the only grocery chain where I have never heard the cashier and bagger shuffling my bread and discussing when their shifts finally end.