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Stew Leonard’s fifth grocery store will open in Farmingdale, N.Y., making it the grocer's first grocery location on New York's Long Island. The long-awaited store will be located in Kimco Realty Corp.'s Airport Plaza shopping center, across from the Stew Leonard's Wines of Farmingdale retail establishment.
"This has been a dream of our family's for more than 10 years now, and we know we'll be welcomed with open arms by all of our friends in Farmingdale and throughout Long Island," said President and CEO Stew Leonard Jr.
"Offering local produce and working with local farmers has been a priority for Stew Leonard's for decades -– a business model that [Long Island's] Suffolk County embraces and supports," noted Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. "The Farmingdale location will create hundreds of jobs and support our local agricultural industry, which are both vital to the economic prosperity Suffolk County and our region."
Original plans to build a Long Island store were stymied by zoning issues related to that site's location directly under the flight path of a local airport, The New York Times reported in 2003. Construction on the new store is scheduled to begin early this year, with the location slated to open in early 2016. The 60,000-square-foot location is expected to provide up to 400 jobs, many of them full-time.
In contrast to grocery stores that sell an average of 30,000 to 60,000 items, a Stew Leonard's store carries only 2,200 items, chosen specifically for freshness, quality and value. Leonard describes the format "as a 'super farmer’s market' -- a cross between a traditional supermarket and a farmer's market," citing the stores' scratch bakeries, fresh mozzarella-making stations, cut-to-order meat departments and in-house kitchens as key differentiators.
Stew Leonard's currently operates four stores in Norwalk, Danbury and Newington, Conn., and Yonkers, N.Y.