Norwalk, CT – April 7, 2021- More than 10,000 of Stew Leonard’s shoppers voted in the farm fresh food store’s first-ever “Best of Stew’s Awards” this past March. Customers selected their most-loved products in categories ranging from “Best Cookie” and “Best My Mother-in-Law Thinks I Made It from Scratch Dish” to categories that reflected Stew Leonard’s unique atmosphere, including “Best Animatronic” and “Best Event.” Now, the Leonard family has tallied the votes to determine their customers’ favorite Stew Leonard’s products and moments, revealing a few surprises along the way!
“We expected my sister Beth’s chocolate chip cookies and our ranchers’ filet mignon to be among the top vote-getters in the Best of Stew’s Awards,” said Stew Leonard Jr. “But we had no idea that newer products, like our grilled shrimp and ribeye burgers, would be such fan favorites!”
And the winners are…
BEST IN BETHY’S BAKERY
Best Sweet Treat
It’s the sweet smell of success for Bethy’s famous Apple Cider Donut Holes! They captured the greatest number of votes in the Best Sweet Treat category.
Handmade using a recipe direct from Paris, France, Beth Leonard Hollis’s original French Baguette rose to the occasion to secure the top spot in the Best Bread category.
Best Cookie in Bethy’s Bakery
Bethy’s signature Chocolate Chip Cookies took home first-place in the Best Cookie category. These are, of course, best served with a tall, cold glass of the winner of the Best Milk category.
BEST AT THE BUTCHER
No holiday table is complete without it! Stew Leonard’s famous trimmed Filet Mignon took top honors in the Best Steak Category, with almost half of all meat lovers ranking it first.
Best Gourmet Burger & Best New Item
How could a freshly ground blend of beef ribeye and chuck not be crowned as king? Stew’s very own Ribeye Burger is savoring a very juicy victory not only as Best Gourmet Burger, but also as Best New Item.
BEST AT THE FISH COUNTER
Best in Seafood
Freshly grilled by Stew’s own Chefs, our Grilled Shrimp are living large as the winners of the Best in Seafood category.
Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue said it best in “Forrest Gump:” you can BBQ it, broil it, boil it, bake it…and Stew Leonard’s tender Shrimp is fresh and tasty enough to win top honors in the Best Shellfish category.
BEST IN GROCERY
Generations of kids have grown up on it, and it is how Stew Leonard’s founder got his start! Our very own dairy-fresh Milk will be milking it’s win in the Best Milk category for years to come.
Best Salty Snack & Best Only @ Stew’s
I’ll have just one…said no one, ever! Stew Leonard’s freshly cooked Kettle Potato Chips are the addictively crunchy winner in both the Best Salty Snack and Best Only @ Stew’s categories.
Best in the Fridge
Stew’s Butter comes directly from cows grazing in the pristine pastures of Wisconsin. You betcha it was a shoo-in for top honors in the Best in the Fridge category!
Favorite in the Pantry
A (liquid) gold medal winner! Stew Leonard’s Olive Oil comes direct from Italy, but it’s made its home right here in the U.S.A. as the number-one pantry must-have for Stew’s shoppers.
BEST IN PRODUCE
Favorite Produce Item
When it’s local and fresh, it’s got to be a winner. By mid-summer, Stew Leonard’s Local Corn is coming direct from farms in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, earning it the top seed in the Favorite Produce Item category.
Favorite Fruit or Veggie Short Cut
Getting your daily dose of greens is easier than ever with Stew’s freshly prepared Salad Bowls, which took home top honors in the Favorite Fruit of Veggie Short Cut category. (We had a salad joke, but we tossed it.)
Best in Deli
Talkin’ turkey never tasted so good! Stew’s freshly sliced Turkey was a cut above the rest in the Best in Deli category.
The big cheese in the deli? It’s Stew Leonard’s famous hand-stretched Mozzarella, of course! It took home the gold in the Favorite Cheese category.
BEST FROM OUR CHEFS
Named the winner in our Best Soup category, Stew Leonard’s Lobster Bisque is smooth, velvety, and creamy, with chunks of fresh lobster.
Stew Leonard’s Wing Bar was voted as Best Crowd-Pleaser, but we won’t tell if you don’t want to share!
Best “My Mother-In-Law Thinks I Made It From Scratch” Dish & Best for Kids
Stew’s chefs do the work…and you can take the credit! Our creamy, classic Mac & Cheese was named as your favorite dish to pass off as your own and was additionally the winning dish in the Best for Kids category.
All hail Stew Leonard’s Caesar Salad! It earned top marks in the Best Salad category.
Best Picnic Side Dish
A show-stopping side dish that goes great with everything from burgers and hot dogs to ribs and lobster rolls! Our chef-made Potato Salad was voted as the top must-have for your next picnic outing.
BEST IN ICE CREAM & COFFEE
Best Ice Cream & Best Memory-Making Moment at Stew’s
No trip to Stew Leonard’s is complete without a cone of our dairy-fresh soft serve ice cream! It was named Best Ice Cream and scoring a free cone with your $100 purchase or more – easier to do now more than ever with our app – earned top marks as the Best Memory-Making Moment at Stew’s.
A rich blend of estate-grown Columbian beans and Papua New Guinea beans, Stew’s Choice was voted the best cup of joe. It’s the fuel that gets Stew Jr. and our farmers up and at ‘em every morning!
BEST OF THE REST
Best for Breakfast
Crusty on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and a winner all around! No matter how you slice, it Stew Leonard’s Bagels are Best for Breakfast.
Best For a Backyard BBQ
Stew Leonard’s Gourmet Hamburgers were voted best for turning up the WOW factor at backyard BBQs all over the region!
A photo finish! Stew’s Dancing Banana edged Clover the Cow by just .01% to win the Best Animatronic category. Watch this space for what’s sure to be the most tightly contested race of the Best of Stew’s 2023 Awards.
Best for the Lunchbox
Whether it’s a Honeycrisp from Blue Hills Orchard in Wallingford, Conn. or a Gala from Fix Brothers Farms in New York’s Hudson Valley, Stew’s Local Apples took a bite out of the competition with their win in the Best for the Lunchbox category.
Best Meal to Go
No time? No problem. Stew’s Rotisserie Chicken to the rescue! It was named Best Meal to Go, and it’s a surefire shortcut to getting a farm fresh dinner on the table tonight.
Best Events at Stew’s
Stew’s Hayrides and Trick-or-Treat events annually draw thousands of our youngest shoppers looking to celebrate harvest season. They were the top vote-getters in the Best Events category.