Stew’s Tank Winners Announced
Three of Four Winning Products Made by Nassau or Suffolk Co. Food-trepreneurs
NORWALK, CT, July 25, 2019 – Farm fresh food store Stew Leonard’s today announced the winners of the inaugural Stew’s Tank competition to identify exciting New York State made products to sell in its six NY and CT locations (a seventh is slated to open in Paramus, NJ this fall). The four winners – three from Long Island and one from New York City – who went through an exhaustive two-month-long online application, in-person presentation and in-store demo / sampling process are: Bacaro Original Foods Eggplant Meatballs, Massapequa Park, NY, special blend of eggplant, panko, ricotta cheese, and Asiago cheese; Halesite Habanero Hot Sauce, unstrained, organic, small-batch hot sauce made with only eight fresh ingredients; Kitu Super Coffee, New York City, blend of protein, healthy saturated fat from coconut oil, and caffeine from organic 100% Columbian Arabica coffee beans by three brothers; The Famous Meatballerss, Wantaugh, combination of ground USDA beef cuts seasoned by Joe Chiodi, a New York City firefighter, with a secret mixture of fresh ingredients inspired by his mother-in-law’s original homemade meatball recipe
The winning products, which beat out more than 130 entries from all over the State of NY, will appear on Stew Leonard’s shelves starting in August. They will hopefully join the ranks of rock star brands Stew Leonard’s has launched at retail, such as Newman’s Own, Bear Naked Granola and Butera’s Meatballs.
“Every day, I see a line of vendors at Stew’s just waiting for the chance to pitch their product to our buying teams,” said Stew Leonard, Jr., president and CEO of Stew Leonard’s. “Stew’s Tank was a great way for us to get our customers involved in finding new and innovative products from local suppliers. We can’t wait to run another Stew’s Tank competition again soon!”
For the Stew’s Tank competition, in May, New York-based food companies were invited to apply via an extensive online application, which gave them the opportunity to present their products directly to Stew Leonard’s Buying Team. The 12 finalist products were then sold for a month at the Stew Leonard’s store in East Meadow, NY, where their sales were tracked by the Buying Team. The best-sellers were judged by Stew Leonard, Jr, and other company executives and the winners announced at the East Meadow store today.
Given the number of shoppers at Stew Leonard’s store, more than 20 million annually, winning the Stew’s Tank competition is likely to be a business game-changer for the companies which make the victorious products. That likelihood is enhanced by the fact Stew Leonard’s famously carries some 2,000 different products, 80 percent of which are fresh, as opposed to a typical supermarket’s 50,000-plus.
About Stew Leonard’s
Stew Leonard’s, a family-owned and operated fresh food store founded in 1969, has six stores in Norwalk, Danbury, and Newington, Conn. and in East Meadow, Farmingdale and Yonkers, N.Y. A seventh store is planned to open in Paramus, N.J., in the fall of 2019. Stew’s earned its nickname, the “Disneyland of Dairy Stores” because of its country-fair atmosphere, with costumed characters and animated entertainment throughout the store that keep children entertained while parents shop. Stew Leonard’s legion of loyal shoppers is largely due to the stores’ passionate approach to customer service: “Rule #1 — The Customer is Always Right”; Rule #2 – If the Customer is Ever Wrong, Re-Read Rule #1.” This principle is so essential to the foundation of the company that it is etched in a three-ton granite rock at each store’s entrance. The company’s culture is built around an acronym for S.T.E.W.: Satisfy the customer; Teamwork gets it done; Excellence makes it better; WOW makes it fun. For more information, visit Stew Leonard’s website at www.stewleonards.com.