Stew Leonard’s plans to open a second Long Island grocery store, in East Meadow.
The new store will be located in the East Meadow Mall near Front Street and Hempstead Turnpike. The mall will be renamed Stew Leonard’s Marketplace and renovated in the coming year, company officials said Thursday.
Shoppers mobbed the opening of the company’s first Island location earlier this month in Farmingdale.
“We were thrilled with our store opening in Farmingdale, and it encouraged us to expand on Long Island,” Stew Leonard Jr., president and chief executive of the family-owned and -operated company, said in a statement.
The 70,000-square-foot East Meadow store, expected to open in mid-2017, will be the chain’s sixth grocery store. Construction will start this summer. Once opened, the store will provide up to 400 jobs.
The new Stew Leonard’s will take over a space at the mall that has been vacant since Pathmark closed in October 2013.
“We are thrilled to welcome Stew Leonard’s as our newest tenant,” Geoff and Charles Serota, owners of the Serota Organization, the landlord of the East Meadow Mall, said in a joint statement. “The East Meadow Mall will begin renovations, including a de-malling process, to create an open, first-class and exceptionally unique retail space for our shoppers.”
Stew Leonard’s opened its first Long Island location in Kimco Realty Corp.’s Airport Plaza shopping center in Farmingdale on Jan. 20. The company expects about 100,000 visitors a week at the new 60,000-square-foot store. The Farmingdale store employs about 400 people.
Stew Leonard’s was founded as a dairy store in 1969 in Norwalk, Connecticut, and has grown to become a nearly $400 million-a-year enterprise with about 2,500 employees. Its three other locations are in Danbury and Newington, Connecticut, and in Yonkers.
Each Stew Leonard’s store carries 2,200 items, including private-label products, and has a bakery, butcher shop, seafood department, and hot and cold buffet. The stores source many products from farms and vendors in the Northeast and the Midwest.
The chain, nicknamed the “Disneyland of Dairy Stores,” is also known for its country-fair atmosphere, with costumed characters and animated entertainment, such as animatronic cows and vegetables, throughout the stores to keep children entertained while parents shop.