Stew Leonard's Earns Accolades As Best Employer

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Fairfield County's shopping fixture, Stew Leonards, was recently voted "one of the best places to work in Connecticut.”
Fairfield County's shopping fixture, Stew Leonards, was recently voted "one of the best places to work in Connecticut.” Photo Credit: Courtesy Stew Leonards

DANBURY, Conn. - For the third year in a row, family-owned, “farm-fresh food grocer” Stew Leonard’s -- with Fairfield County locations in Norwalk and Danbury -- was named “one of the best places to work in Connecticut,” according to a report by Hartford Business Journal, Best Companies Group.

At the Danbury store, Nicole Weiss manages what she refers to as “the front end -- cashiers, customer service, accounting and more.” A 25 year veteran of Stew Leonards -- she began working there when she was 16 -- the dairy store’s accolades come as no surprise.

“Stew's is a great company to work for,” she said. “They are very flexible with employees’ schedules, particularly where kids are concerned -- sports, events and sick children.”

Weiss, who is married to the director of Stew’s kitchen in Danbury, takes none of what she calls “the perks” for granted. They include, she said: regular free lunches, “annual appreciation parties” for each department, gift cards for free holiday turkey, gift cards for the holidays, profit sharing, a 401k and health insurance.

And, she said, there are 49 other advantages to working at Stew’s: she gets seven weeks of vacation per year.

Stew Leonard’s, whose humble beginnings as a small dairy store founded in Norwalk in 1969 with seven employees, was the seed for a now nearly $400 million business, has more than 2,000 employees -- more than 1,300 of them based in Connecticut -- in the region.

Stew's earned its nickname, the "Disneyland of Dairy Stores" because of the stores’ country-fair atmospheres, replete with petting farms, costumed characters and animated entertainment. Joining shoppers down the aisles are characters such as “Larry Lettuce,” Cindy Celery” and more, all of whom lend a musical and festive air to Stew’s unique shopping experience.

But for Weiss, it all comes down to one thing: “Stew’s truly cares about the people who work there.”

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