Some things don’t change in Palm Beach:
Before sunrise Thursday, just a handful of customers were waiting outside the new Palm Beach Publix, scheduled to open at 7 a.m.
By 6:50 a.m. the crowd had grown to about 50 people.
That’s when store manager Nick Abiusi decided to let the throng in, handing them the latest Publix circulars and greeting many of the shoppers by name. “We’re happy to be back,” he said to many of them. “It’s great to see you.”
A half-hour later, there were lines at all 10 checkout stands and at least 500 people were making their way around the new super market.
I know I spend way too much time on this, but Publix has become a Palm Beach institution almost as much as the Everglades Club. The fact that the nation’s richest zip code should have such a love affair with a chain grocery store–one that started with its original opening in 1971–is a lesson to everyone, as I noted five years ago in The Event of the Season.
It really is, isn’t it?
I grew up in Lakeland, and literally delivered Geroge Jenkin’s newspaper for a year or so. 40 years later, they moved into Tennessee, mostly taking over stores by a failed company. I can’t say I have a love affair with them, but it is where I always shop.