Stew Leonard’s, labeled as the “World’s Largest Dairy Store,” is a New York and Connecticut fave.
With humble beginnings and a staff of only 7 employees in 1969, Stew’s now generates more than $400 million in sales of the deliciousness it feeds us with when we go back home. Now, with three locations in Newington, Norwalk and Danbury, Connecticut and two New York locations, Farmington and Yonkers, more people can enjoy the goodness Stew Leonard’s has to offer.
Unlike many mainstream grocery stores that sell up to 30,000 different items, Stew Leonard’s selectively chooses 2,200 for their freshness and quality.
From out-of-the-box items like Kalemole (guacamole with Kale), to rainbow bagels, to the velvety smooth chocolate milk and singing animals caroling in every location throughout the store, this grocery store is not your average one.
Here’s 12 items that’ll remind you why you’re missing food from home, and particularly, food from Stew Leonard’s, when you leave the state.
1. Apple Cider Donuts
Something the West Coast doesn’t do quite like the East Coast are the killer apple cider donuts. Correction: the Stew Leonard’s apple cider donuts. These donuts are made right in front of you and packaged into glorious cases for you to consume by the half dozen, but let’s be honest, you probably end up reaching for another package because they’re so irresistible.
2. Chiquita Banana
If Chiquita banana isn’t the highlight of this trip, then I don’t know what is. When we were kids, pressing the button to hear Chiquita banana sing about how “bananas make a great meal, and there are many good things under the peel” was essentially the theme song to our Stew Leonard’s trips.
3. Chocolate Chip Cookies
Stew Leonard’s bakery is bomb AF. Period. The chocolate chip cookies reaffirm that there’s no need to argue which grocery store is owning the #bakerygame. If you can’t try Stew’s cookies because you’re out of state, try these.
4. House-Made Potato Chips
Can we just say foodgasm? These potato chips are no Lay’s. New York and Connecticut natives know the taste of the crispiness and flavor bombs that these chips bring. They’re fried right in front of you and put into that classic Stew Leonard’s brown paper bag for you to devour. What’s not to love?
From flavors like BBQ, sour cream and onion, or just plain ol’ potato chips, you know you always buy more than one bag.
5. Free Samples
You know from the second you walk into the store to the sad moment you walk out, Stew Leonard’s will basically feed you an entire meal in free samples. #Happycustomer.
6. Chocolate-Drizzled Rice Cakes
A pretty bland item otherwise, Stew Leonard’s is the reason we started eating these rice cakes– because chocolate drizzle makes everything better. Made right in front of you, these rice cakes are made ready to-go and are devoured in the car ride home.
7. Chocolate Milk
Let’s be honest, we’d drink this like the daily recommended water requirement if it weren’t for the calories and sugar. This chocolate milk is not from ordinary cows, it’s from Stew Leonard’s cows. I don’t know what it is that makes this chocolate milk the creamiest, smoothest, velvetiest drink ever, but let’s just be grateful we’re blessed with it. If you’re intrigued by this chocolate milk and can’t fly to NY or CT to try Stew’s, we got you.
8. Clover the Cow
Admit it, you definitely pulled (and still pull) the string to make Clover moo right before you grabbed that carton of chocolate milk.
9. The Singing Milk Cartons
If you needed another reminder that you’re about the enter the milk section, then the dancing milk cartons made sure you knew it. When we were kids, we stood in front of these little guys watching the show repeatedly until our parents pulled us away. What child doesn’t love singing inanimate objects?! #Forrealthough.
10. French Toast Bagels
Stew Leonard’s taught us that it’s okay not to have to choose between french toast and a bagel for breakfast. Why not have both? Looking to spice up your french toast bagel? Try these cream cheeses.
11. Super Soft Snowball Rolls
For NY and CT natives, no family dinner is complete without these uber-soft snowball rolls. They might be frozen in the picture, but warm these rolls up in the oven and they’ll be soft, powdery and perfected with a generous pat of butter.
12. Free Ice Cream
One free ice cream for every $100 spent? No prob. We natives know this ice cream as the only way to end a trip to Stew Leonard’s. Topped off with the best rainbow sprinkles, Stew’s literally has our mouths watering until the next visit.
If we don’t have you out-of-staters convinced that this dairy store is legit, go check it out for yourselves!
CT and NY natives, you know you miss these things, so if you’re on summer break, get yourself to Stew Leonard’s — and save us a shopping cart while you’re at it.