Stew Leonard’s will open its first New Jersey store this fall at the Paramus Mall in an 80,000-s.f. space that was a Sears store for 45 years.
According to the retailer, 350 new jobs will be created.
A groundbreaking is scheduled for Friday, March 29, at 11 a.m. Stew Leonard Jr., CEO of the company known as “the Disneyland of dairy stores,” will speak for the first time about the New Jersey debut.
The groundbreaking also will be attended by U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez; Mayor of Paramus Richard LaBarbiera; and other state and local officials.
Stew Leonard’s entry into the Garden State market is the first expansion of the Norwalk, Connecticut-based company beyond Connecticut and New York State in 20 years. It also is the retailer’s first store in a mall.
When completed, the new, state-of-the-art store will bring a new grocery shopping experience to New Jersey, the grocer says. It will feature Stew Leonard’s signature interactive animatronic characters performing for shoppers and the “truly singular one way aisle that weaves through the store.”
Like its sister stores, the new Paramus Garden State location will house a from-scratch bakery, cut-to-order butcher shop and fresh seafood service department as well as a kitchen where, throughout the day, a 50-person culinary team will prepare a variety of hot foods for the in-house catering department and buffet bar along with refrigerated meals to go.
As is Stew Leonard’s policy, the store will source local produce and dairy in New Jersey and from throughout the tri-state area.
A $400 million family-owned and -operated company, Stew Leonard’s currently operates six stores in Connecticut and New York. Companywide Stew Leonard’s draws more than 11 million shoppers each year. It was designated the “world’s largest dairy store” by the Guinness Book of World Records.