Monday, February 22, 2010

Diggin' Stew Leonard's

Stew Leonard's has been in the dairy biz since 1921 and praised by the press for decades now, yet somehow JustSaying only learned of the Connecticut-based, family-owned, fresh food grocer because it was featured on the History Channel's Modern Marvels episode "The Supermarket."

In 1960, brothers Jim and Stew Leonard inherited Clover Farms milk delivery business and nine short years later they opened their first store in Norfolk with two registers and seven items. In the following decades a little advertising (and some trademark cow trucks equipped with "moo" horns) went a long way. Their product line expanded to include meat direct from Colorado, an in-store bakery and our fave: Newman's Own Salad Dressing.

Now they've got a store in New York, a wine shop, and a steady position on FORTUNE magazine's "Top 100 Companies to Work For."

And as far as food safety goes, Stew Leonard's mottos is: "If you wouldn't take it home to your mother, don't put it out for our customers."

While I obviously admire their practices and natural/organic product line, truth be told, it was the happy cow costumes and giggling children that really sold me. As pointed out in the Modern Marvels episode, so many supermarkets use calming music and dim lighting to create a certain type of desired shopping experience but Stew Leonard's is rather the opposite. They're the Southwest of supermarkets - fun, lively, and uber-customer-focused.

There are only a handful of Stew Leonard's stores so far (three in CT and one in NY), but with revenues hitting $300 million a year expansion is in the works.

Check out their website for more information (and the awesometastical live Cow-Cam!) and join me in suggesting they expand right on down the East Coast!!


becky said... work blocks cow cam :(

Deborah said...

That's bullsh*t! I understand facebook, but the cow cam??!?! C'mon Snyder, Cohen, Eisenberg & Katesenberg!! Lolz.

Amy said...

i love the motto - i just hope they love their momma. and we're not dealing with a little "throw momma from the train"! happy to see them on the Top 100 - I just wish they were closer to me.