Publix to go public in Pelham

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 9, 2002

Michael Musolino’s last few weeks have been a whirlwind.

Musolino is the store manager at Shelby County’s newest supermarket, Publix in Pelham, which is set to open its doors next Wednesday, July 17.

&uot;Everything is coming together. We are on timelines for everything because we open in just a few days,&uot; he said. &uot;I can’t wait to open the doors. People have been asking me all the time ‘When do you open?’&uot;

Musolino, 33, who began his Publix career as a front service clerk at age 16, said he has been busy &uot;team building&uot; with the store’s some 150 new employees.

The associates, as they’re called at Publix, are still familiarizing themselves with their new employer, he said.

&uot;At Publix, the customer is the king or the queen. The customers are the boss,&uot; Musolino said with a grin.

&uot;I’m trying to keep everyone on task, but I’m also trying to have fun getting to know the new associates.

&uot;Attitude in life means a lot. I like to say ‘Today can either be a good day or a not so good day.’&uot;

The location at Southgate Village, located just off the intersection of Highway 31 and Valleydale Road in Pelham, marks Publix Super Markets Inc’s first store opening in the Birmingham metropolitan market.

The store is 46,733 square feet and equipped with a pharmacy, deli, meat cutter and bakery.

In addition, there is a Ticket Master, Western Union and

ticket sales for Six Flags/WhiteWater/American Adventures.

The Georgia-based Publix is also set to break ground soon at two other locations in Shelby County &045; one at Valleydale Village in Hoover, located at the intersection of Valleydale Road and Caldwell Mill Road; and another at the Village at Lee Branch, located on Bowling Green Drive in North Shelby County near Highway 280.

Two other locations are planned in Jefferson County, one in Hoover at Trace Crossings and one in Vestavia Hills in the Vestavia Hills City Center.

There has also been talk of another Publix at the White Stone Shopping Center under construction in Alabaster; however, neither Publix nor city officials could confirm this.

Brenda Reid, community affairs manager with Publix’s corporate headquarters in Atlanta, said the company is excited about its new Shelby County stores.

&uot;We have been interested in opening stores in the Birmingham area for quite some time due to continued growth and development in the area,&uot; she said. &uot;We think that the community will enjoy the Publix shopping experience.&uot;

As to what local residents should expect in the supermarket, &uot;Publix is very proud of its reputation of having clean, well-lit stores and excellent customer services.

&uot;Our associates are the key to our success. We are employee-owned and each associate has a vested interest in making sure that our customers get the service they deserve &045; from fresh products on the shelves to friendly and courteous service every time they shop at Publix,&uot; she said.

Publix is also set to be a major contributor in the community, Reid said.

&uot;One of the outreach programs that we have is Publix Partners. It is a program that has put more than $12 million back into the schools near our stores,&uot; Reid said.

The company sends Publix Partner cards to the local schools for distribution to parents, she said.

&uot;When parents shop with us, a portion of their purchase is donated to their school,&uot; Reid said.

She said the company is also a supporter of local and national charities as well as local athletics.

In addition, she noted Publix has joined the chambers of commerce in Birmingham, Vestavia, Hoover and Shelby County.

&uot;We know that we have to win the community over one person at a time,&uot; Reid said