HOW A SMALL DAIRY STORE BECAME WORLD FAMOUS
From its humble beginnings as a small dairy store founded in 1969 with seven employees, Stew Leonard's has grown to become not only the World's Largest Dairy Store, but one of the most renowned grocery stores, with annual sales of almost $400 million and almost 2,000 Team Members. In addition to the headquarters store in Norwalk, Conn., Stew Leonard's has stores in Danbury and Newington, Conn., Yonkers and Farmingdale, N.Y., and has plans for a new location in East Meadow, N.Y.
Clover Farms, a State-of-the-art Dairy
Charles LeonardStew Leonard's history can be traced back to the early 1920s, when Charles Leo Leonard started Clover Farms Dairy in Norwalk, Connecticut. It was a state-of-the-art dairy by the standards of the time - with a pasteurizing and bottling plant, and fresh milk delivered daily by trucks that had plastic cows on the front that "mooed" for the neighborhood children.
A Highway Ran Through It
In the late sixties, Stew Leonard, Charles's son, realized the milk delivery business was going the way of the horse and buggy. He knew it was time to start something new when the state informed him that Clover Farms Dairy was in the path of a new highway. Stew Leonard's dream was to build a retail dairy store where children could watch milk being bottled while mothers did their shopping in a farmer's market atmosphere. In December 1969, Stew Leonard's opened its doors - a 17,000 square foot store carrying just eight items.
The Dairy Store Expands
Stew Leonard's has grown at an amazing pace - and 30 additions have since been added to the original store. Stew Leonard's has taken the fresh dairy concept and expanded into meats, fish, produce, bakery, cheese and wine. Unlike traditional grocery stores that sell an average 30,000 items, each Stew Leonard's store carries only 2,200 items, chosen specifically for their freshness, quality and value.
Still All in the Family
Stew Leonard's has remained a family business.