Market Leader: Stew Leonard Jr.

The head of a six-location supermarket chain with loyal customers and even more loyal employees, Stew Leonard Jr. shares his alphabetized loves, likes, and a few laughs.



Accountant. Can you believe I almost became one?

Barolo is my favorite wine.

Caroline’s Comedy Club. I did two standup acts a few years ago, and let’s just say the audience liked the food and wine better!

Dieting. I’m around food and wine all day. I’ve tried every diet.

Espresso bean! Espresso beans have been roasted the longest at the highest temperature. They’ve been exposed to the roughest elements of life but have the most flavor. I strive to be an espresso bean.

Family business. We’re welcoming the third generation into Stew Leonard’s.

Germany. My mother was born there; she escaped the Holocaust when she was 6.

Harem. I live with five women! Even our dog, Baia, is female. I joke that somebody’s always crying in our house… and it’s usually me!

IRS. Don’t ask.

JFK. I took Pan Am Flight 2 from JFK in 1977 on an around-the-world trip. It was a life-changing experience to see how other people live.

Kim. My wife and I will be married 34 years this September.

Leonard. I’m grateful to my grandfather and father, who created our dairy and our current business.

Milk. My dad was a milk deliveryman until he opened the first Stew Leonard’s location in 1969.

Naked (it’s not what you think). That’s what we call our meat and fish products that don’t have any added hormones or antibiotics.   

One-idea trips. Every year, I challenge all of our managers to visit New York City and find one new idea to implement at Stew Leonard’s.

Playland. I’ve been going there since I was a kid, plus it is where we have our annual summer picnic for our team members and their families.

Quack! That’s the ring on my iPhone in honor of Stewie the Duck, the mascot of Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities.My family and I wrote a book, Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim, after we lost my son in a drowning accident in 1989. We hope this book teaches young children to not jump into the water until they’ve learned to swim.

Rowing crew, which I did for all four years at Ithaca College.

Stew Leonard Drive. It was one of the proudest moments of my life when I showed my dad the exit off of the Major Deegan.

Team members. We have 525 team members at our Yonkers store, and I’m so proud of them. More than 30 percent of them have been with us for more than 10 years.

UCLA. One of the best decisions of my life was to move to Los Angeles and get my MBA in 1982.

VinItaly. It’s a wine expo in Italy that I’ve attended for the last 15 years.

Water safety. Through Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities, we’ve helped to provide 60,000 swimming lessons at the Yonkers YMCA over the past 18 years and also donated safety equipment to the pier in Yonkers.

X-mas trees. Stew Leonard’s will sell more than 50,000 Christmas trees this December.

Yonkers. It was a big deal for my family to open our first location outside of Connecticut, in 1999. Our Yonkers store is now our busiest one.

Zuppa di pesce is my favorite meal.  

 

 

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