The bakery staff will be there at midnight.
By 4 or 5 a.m., deli employees will arrive.
Store Manager Andy Lapin will report to work by 6 a.m.
At 7:45 a.m., longtime Longboat Key Publix employee Vicki Workman, aka “Miss Vicki,” will cut the ribbon.
The moment the Key has been waiting for will come 15 minutes later at 8 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. That’s when Longboat Key’s Publix will open its doors, making shopping a pleasure, once again.
According to Shannon Patten, media and community relations manager for Publix Central and South West Florida division, Publix sometimes has a line outside when it opens a new store.
When doors open, customers will see the newest Publix prototype.
“The overall look and feel is unique,” Patten said. “We wanted to come up with a store where customers could explore an array of foods and services under one roof.”
The first Aprons Simple Meals dish that will touch their lips will be praline French toast made with a loaf of Publix breakfast bread and pecan halves, along with several pantry items.
The first several-hundred customers will also get various samples, giveaways and free gifts.
But, even if you don’t make it on the first day, there’s still plenty to check out.
There’s a seating area with free Wi-Fi, event-planning station, full-service floral department, enhanced organic, gluten-free and international selections and seafood, deli and bakery departments, olive bar, salad bar, Pacific wok station and more.
Plans for Publix received Longboat Key Town Commission approval in February. The former store closed in April for eight months’ of construction.
The Dec. 13 opening date means that Publix got its holiday wish: a new Longboat Key store before Christmas, as representatives previously stated was their goal.
Andy Lappin is back as the Longboat Key Publix store manager — and many of the store’s 200 associates worked at the island store prior to its closing in April.
Lappin was assigned to a Tampa store during the Key store’s eight months’ of construction. The store’s remaining associates were assigned to other locations in the area. Although some associates chose to remain at their new stores, many are back at the Longboat Key Publix, along with about 70 new employees.
Lappin served as meat manager of the Key store from 1995 to 1998, returning in 2006 as store manager.
His thoughts on the new Publix:
“It’s awesome,” he said.