Around The Store With Stew
Items That Will Double And Triple For The Super Bowl
- Chicken Wings with 8 different sauces. Buffalo wings are still your #1 favorite.
- St. Louis Pork Ribs. Right now, I wish we were getting them from Kansas City!
- Pigs-in-a-Blanket. They’re handmade with croissant dough in our bakeries.
- Shrimp Cocktail and Grilled Shrimp Platters.
- Lobster Roll Platters.
- Organic Tortilla Chips with our handmade Guacamole and 7-Layer Dip.
- Online Ordering – The big items are our 1 and 3ft. grinders. The bread is freshly baked in our bakeries. The Quesadilla Platter will make an appearance at my Super Bowl party, too. They’re the most popular items for Catering as well.
Our Top Items For Valentine's Day
Chocolate dipped strawberries, long stem red rose bouquets, and our Dinner for Two from catering are the winners. We’ll be dipping fresh jumbo strawberries in rich Belgian chocolate in all the stores. You can watch our chefs as they hand-dip the strawberries from Saturday, February 11 – Tuesday, February 14, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.
Norwalk's Latest News
Our Norwalk store’s renovation is almost finished, and we added a real WOW to the indoor farmer’s market: my father’s Divco milk truck from the 1950s! It’s been parked on the road in front of the store for the past few years, where nobody could get close enough to see it. I love walking into the store every day and being reminded of our family’s history. Our family is also planning a grand re-opening for the Norwalk store in June, and we’ll unveil a bronze statue of my dad at that time. I know it’ll be a really special moment for my mom.
Our Biggest Attended Event Ever At Stew’s –
50 Cent Visited Yonkers!
And he’s coming back! Musician and entrepreneur Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson came to Yonkers over the holidays and promoted his luxury cognac and champagne brands. 1500 customers showed up and Mayor Spano was our first guest! Next, he’ll be at Stew Leonard’s Wines & Spirits of Paramus on Wednesday, Feb 21st from 5-7 PM. If you plan on going, you’ll need to prepurchase your bottles. We sold out at the Yonkers event!
Things That Make Me Smile!
- As if it wasn’t already fun to shop at Stew’s, we got a new “fleet” of shopping carts that your kids will go wild for. These new carts are designed to look like a pink car, a tractor, or a police car. We have a few of each at every one of our stores. They’re a hit!
- In Newington, a customer called our Kitchen Assistant Manager Rose to place a large catering order to feed 150 people. Rose gave it the utmost care, placing and arranging the order. She even delivered it herself! The customer couldn’t have been happier.
- In Paramus, we got a great note from Valley Hospital after we catered a lunch for them. His note said that our store manager, Steve, was “kind, and friendly, and I could tell it was genuine.” No surprise there! Steve’s worked for us for almost 18 years.
Who's My Super Bowl Pick?
We get a lot of our meat from Kansas, and our ranchers were quick to remind me about who will win the Super Bowl this year. Check out this video they sent me! I’m sure they’ll be reading this. “Hey guys, I’m rooting for the Chiefs, too! Keep those great steaks coming!”
Want To Live To Be 100? Eat This!
Due to the Netflix special “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones,” our Purple Sweet Potatoes have been a superstar item. Here’s an easy cooking tip. Start baked potatoes in the microwave, not the oven. Pierce them with a fork, microwave for 5 minutes, then place them in a pre-heated 425°F for 15 minutes. You'll get perfectly baked potatoes in about 20 minutes instead of an hour. It speeds everything up and they come out just as creamy and delicious.
Happy Birthday Dear Swiftie...Happy Birthday To You!
We do birthday parties at the food stores (and at the swim school) for kids. They all have a theme (Barbie, Frozen, Spiderman). We just did a first. One young girl wanted a “Swiftie” party. How does a 4-year-old know all the songs? Her Mom is a huge Taylor Swift fan!
All In The (Yonkers) Family!
We brought a big team to Mayor Spano’s inauguration dinner. I thought I had a big family, but the Spanos have a REALLY big family! I met the mayor’s wife, Mary Calvi (she’s a WCBS-TV news anchor, the host of Inside Edition, and published author), his kids, his uncles, his aunts…and even learned that Rocco, the meat department manager at our store in Yonkers, is related to Mary Calvi!
How Do Cows Handle Freezing Temperatures?
The Kansas City-Miami game a few weekends ago was the 4th coldest game in NFL history. Many of our cattle ranchers are just a few hours’ drive from Arrowhead Stadium and it made me wonder how they keep the cattle warm when the temperature gets below zero. I asked our ranchers how they handle the cold. They told me that cows like the cold and even like the snow on their backs!
- Organics are growing – Organic pasta, eggs, chips, strawberries, avocado, Romaine, and honey crisp apples are leading the charge.
- Hot in the Press – Self Checkouts. I’ve had calls about them from the Associated Press, Newsday, and NBC Nightly News. What’s the scoop? I compare self-checkouts to the launch of ATMs in the 1980s. My daughters have never been to a bank teller. What’s that? Sure, we use fewer cashiers, but it’s offset by human error (ringing up conventional bananas when you meant to pay for organic, as an example). Technology is improving rapidly, and computers will be able to use product recognition software, similar to having facial ID on your cell phone. About 20% of our shoppers use self-checkout, but there’s one thing I’ve noticed: most of those shoppers don’t have grey hair!
- WildTwist Apples – They’re a cross between a Honey Crisp and Pink Lady. Crunchy with a good mix of sweet and tart. We’ve been selling them for three weeks and they’re already our second-best selling apple. Watch out, Honey Crisp!
- Homemade Sausage – We’ve been trying a few different flavor combinations and corned beef is our most popular flavor so far. You also loved the broccoli rabe with provolone sausages. The idea started in Danbury and now Norwalk has picked up the trend.
- Lobster Rolls – We use local, handpicked lobster meat for these, and it used to be they were only popular in the summer. Now, you want them all year round.
- WOW! Non-alcoholic beer – My daughter Blake and her wine, beer, and spirits team can’t believe this is 10% of our beers sales. Athletic Brewing is brewed right in Stratford, Conn. We sold 1500 six packs over the holidays. Also, the Cycling Frog and CANN drinks with THC have been rocking it. I tried one and it gave me a relaxed, serene feeling. For home consumption only!
Stewie The Duck Swim School
After losing our son to a drowning, it makes our hearts GLOW watching your kids take lessons at the Swim School. We have 700 kids each week in the pool. Here’s what we have learned:
- 75% of our students are under 5 years old. We even have moms and dads in the water with their 6-month-olds!
- All kids learn at different rates. Some are petrified and need to slowly get water acclimated. Some of them don’t want to get out of the water! All our instructors are Red Cross Certified and will nurture your child along. At a parent-teacher conference for one of my own daughters, I remember a long-time teacher of kindergarten showed a chart of all the kids in the class and how many teeth they lost during the school year. Some lost 5, some lost none. She said, “This COULD be your child’s reading progress chart also. Some catch on early, some don’t, but they will all learn to read! Have patience.”
- Float, float, float. When we found our son, he was face down in the pool. Our 21-month year old son was around the water all the time but as young parents, we never thought to teach him to float. If he knew how to roll over on his back when he fell in the pool, it could have been a game changer! That’s why I am such an advocate on learning how to FLOAT!
- Watch out during springtime. Pools are closed now, but they’ll start to open when the weather gets warmer, plus there are visits to beaches and lakes. Sadly, Kim and I get phone calls from devastated parents every spring and summer telling us about their tragedy.
- We’ve added hours on Saturdays and Sundays at 8am and classes are filling up quickly!
- We’re giving our instructors a free lunch coupon if they get 5 positive Google Reviews from you! A couple of our instructors have already received coupons. The reviews are great feedback.