Stew Leonard’s, nicknamed the “Disneyland of Dairy Stores,” will open its second Long Island grocery store on Aug. 23.
The new 70,000-square-foot store, at 1897 Front St. in East Meadow, replacing a former Pathmark, will open at 8 a.m. The store will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and employ 350 people.
The East Meadow location will be the sixth grocery store of family-owned and -operated Stew Leonard’s. The Connecticut-based chain opened its first Long Island location in Kimco Realty Corp.’s Airport Plaza shopping center in Farmingdale in January 2016.
“The first one on Long Island has been such a great success,” said the food retailer’s president and chief executive, Stew Leonard Jr. The Farmingdale store averages 50,000 to 100,000 customer visits a week, he said. “We are already sending trucks out there, so from an economic standpoint it is better for us to buy in larger quantities and send it out to Long Island. We are excited about Long Island overall.”
The chain, founded by Stew Leonard Sr. as a dairy store in 1969 in Norwalk, Connecticut, also has locations in Danbury and Newington, Connecticut, and in Yonkers. Each store carries national brands and private-label products and has a bakery, butcher shop, seafood department, and hot and cold buffet.
Local items from Long Island will also be sold at the East Meadow store, including: Holy Schmitt’s horseradish from Riverhead; Bryant & Cooper steak sauce from Roslyn; nonalcoholic Long Island Iced Tea from Long Beach; lettuces from Deer Run Farms in Brookhaven; corn and cucumbers from Windy Acres Farm in Calverton; squash from Wells Farm in Riverhead; Tate’s Bake Shop cookies from Southampton; Butera’s Chicken Meatballs from Woodbury; fish from off the coast of Montauk; and Blue Point oysters from Oyster Bay.
Salvaged pieces from barns in New England and Amish Country dating to the early 1900s have been incorporated into the design of the East Meadow store, including reclaimed wood, milk crates, ladders, wagon wheels and fruit bins. Like the other five Stew Leonard’s locations, the new store will have a one-way aisle.
The chain, known for its country-fair atmosphere, costumed characters and animated entertainment, will feature more than a dozen animatronic shows at the East Meadow store. The animatronic characters will include a skateboarding Bobby Banana, soaring cows of the Stew-Mont Stakes and dancing Avocado Girls.
The East Meadow store will also feature a miniature replica of Stew Sr.’s Divco milk delivery truck from the 1950s. There will be a custom-made chandelier featuring milk bottles in the dairy section, while the butcher shop will display antique wagon wheels, barn doors and a 16-foot-wide steer horn.
“Our motto is two roofs, one store,” said Dan Arthur, president of the company’s Long Island stores, who runs the Farmingdale store and will take over the management of the East Meadow store. “We are going to run both stores as world class.”
CORRECTION: The new Stew Leonard’s store in East Meadow will be located at 1897 Front St. Due to incorrect information from the company, the address was misstated in earlier versions of this story.