A good friend who regularly reads my blogs recently commented on the fact that I’ve not once written a blog reviewing Stew Leonard’s. I thought she was mistaken. Surely I’ve written something about my beloved grocery store with “WOW” factor. But she was right. . .until now: my first ever review of Stew Leonard’s grocery stores.
Stew’s is not a normal grocery store and there are only a few stores in New England. It is family owned but it is worth the trip at least once, even if it’s a little out of your way. Each Stew’s has a petting zoo, a grill restaurant with a limited menu set up in the spring, (ours is laid out such that you can get your food, and then eat it at tables near the zoo which is great for the kids), and also a buffet bar inside filled with hot food and a complete salad bar. To top it off, the stores have animatronic pieces at various points at the store. Our store has a dancing Chaquita banana and a Poland Springs Tree that sings about the wonders of Poland Springs water. (Read that to mean that your children would beg to go to this store.) This is the one store you can go to hungry because most of the time, there are samples at every corner.
But it’s not just the atmosphere that makes Stew Leonard’s unique. Stew’s started out as a dairy. So most of the food that you can buy there is actually produced and made on Stew’s owned farms. The vast majority of baked goods that you buy there are also made on an on site bakery. Consequently everything is very fresh. While you’d think that it would be more expensive, not buying from suppliers but actually producing their own goods makes Stew’s the least expensive place I know of around here to get hormone free milk, and one of the cheaper places to get milk period. (Costco still has them beat though.) Bread too, is much cheaper at Stew’s because again, it is baked right there.
Stew Leonard’s has stores in Newington, Danbury and Norwalk, Connecticut as well as Yonkers, New York. If you’re nearby, it’s definitely worth the visit!