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Stew Leonard's will receive a certificate of recognition from the mayor of Norwalk, Conn., Harry Rilling, on Tuesday, July 21 at 1 p.m. Attending the ceremony in the Hoedown Tent at the grocer's flagship Norwalk store will be members of the Leonard family Common Council Member and onetime Stew Leonard's employee Shannon O'Toole Giandurco, current associates, and company mascot Clover the Cow.
The company got its start in Norwalk back in the early 1920s, when Charles Leo Leonard started Clover Farms Dairy there. In 1969, the Stew Leonard's dairy store opened in Norwalk with just seven employees. Today, the company has annual sales of almost $400 million, employs nearly 2,000 employees, and operates four stores in Connecticut and New York, with a fifth slated to open in Farmingdale, N.Y., early next year.
The certificate comes in the wake of the grocer having been named "Best Grocery Store in America" by BusinessInsider.com, which cited 13 reasons for its designation, including "a great in-house brand," an "amazing" bakery, a good employee policy, an "enormous, fresh and well-priced" produce section, lots of free samples, an "incredible" butcher shop, and the fact that Stew Leonard's "is up with the latest food trends."