Who owns Publix? Grocery chain boycotted after heiress donated $300,000 to Trump's rally before Capitol riots

The company released a statement: 'Mrs Fancelli is not an employee of Publix Super Markets, and is neither involved in our business operations nor does she represent the company in any way'

                            Who owns Publix? Grocery chain boycotted after heiress donated $300,000 to Trump's rally before Capitol riots
A Publix Food & Pharmacy store in Delray Beach, Florida (Getty Images)

Florida’s multibillion-dollar grocery chain, Publix, is under public scrutiny after a member of Publix’s founding family reportedly donated $300,000 to former President Donald Trump’s rally that preceded the January riot on Capitol Hill.

Publix family member Julie Jenkins Fancelli donated $997,300 to Trump's victory, according to Federal Election Commission records. In addition to this, she gave another $525,900 directly to the RNC, $11,000 to Trump's campaign and $550,000 to Trump-aligned super PAC America First Action in the 2020 cycle.


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After it was alleged that Publix family member Julie Jenkins reportedly funded the Republican National Committee (RNC) and Trump's presidential campaign, many customers started to show their disdain towards the grocery chain and stated that they are going to leave Publix for good.

Publix is one of the largest regional grocery chains in the United States. The state of Flordia has the largest number of stores, and with 831 stores, it represents two-thirds of Publix’s outlets. After the news broke out that the founding member of the Publix supermarket chain donated a hefty amount to the Trump rally, many daily-goers are reportedly boycotting the chain.

A Publix Food & Pharmacy store where Covid-19 vaccinations were being administered on January 29, 2021 (Getty Images)

Publix's controversy explained

On January 31, the company released a statement regarding Fancelli, heir to the Publix supermarket fortune: "Mrs Fancelli is not an employee of Publix Super Markets, and is neither involved in our business operations nor does she represent the company in any way. We cannot comment on Mrs Fancelli’s actions."

"The violence at the Capitol on January 6 was a national tragedy. The deplorable actions that occurred that day do not represent the values, work, or opinions of Publix Super Markets," the statement added.


Fancelli is a very strong Trump supporter who previously donated more than $980,000 to his campaign and Republican Party during the last election cycle. According to reports, she is an heir to Publix, established by her father in 1930.

Wendy Mize, an advertising copywriter from Orlando, Florida, told The Guardian that her family grew up around Publix, but she has now decided to pull out her family from the supermarket chain after the news surfaced that the founding member of the famous super chain reportedly donated to Trump’s rally.

“Insurrection at the Capitol, images of the police officer with his head being crushed, individuals dressed as Vikings on the floor of the Senate… we’re not going to call this normal. [Publix] are a private company, and it is their business how they want to contribute their money, but it’s also my right to decide where I want to spend my dollars,” the 57-year-old Mize told The Guardian.

Former President Donald Trump waves as he departs on the South Lawn of the White House on December 12, 2020, in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

The Publix chain and its founders have a history of donating to partisan, conservative causes. The supermarket chain donated $100,000 to a political action committee pushing for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ re-election in 2020. Following the donation, DeSantis awarded Publix an exclusive contract to distribute Covid-19 vaccines in several Florida stores.

A Miami Herald columnist, Fabiola Santiago, has condemned such actions and wrote that this is “dirty pay-to-play politics, corruption made possible by having a manipulative governor who kept Covid-19 infection data secret and is now doing the same with vaccine distribution.”


Following the news that Fancelli from Publix Supermarket donated to Trump’s rally, several people came forward to show their outrage. The hashtag #BoycottPublix started to trend after hundreds of people came on Twitter to talk about the company and how it is best for the nation to boycott it.

One user wrote, “This whole #BoycottPublix thing has me even more pissed that Lucky's market closed down. That was THE best market!  It was also reasonably priced! Man I miss that peppered bacon!” Another tweeted, “#BOYCOTTPUBLIX till they stop funding INSURRECTIONISTS.”

A user wrote: “On top of giving $$ to Putnam AFTER Parkland, remember, @Publix is the reason why Orlando is not allowed to create an ordinance to ban single use plastic bags & styrofoam. They successfully lobbied to kill home rule in the state of Florida. #BOYCOTTPUBLIX”.

A user tweeted, “I have #BOYCOTTPUBLIX since I found out about the insurrection crap.  Then I found out about the vaccine crap. Then the campaign contributions. #winndixierocks has the best chicken salad.  Try it out!”. While another tweeted: “I'm not sure it's feasible to boycott/cancel every single person/corporation who supports Donald Trump. Publix is just one among many that I don't think are going away anytime soon. #BOYCOTTPUBLIX.”










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