News Briefs


Stew Leonard’s Launches New Delivery Options

Stew Leonard's Conn. Teaser

Family-owned and -operated Stew Leonard’s has launched its newly redesigned website,, with new ways to shop. This includes delivery to homes up to a 45-minute drive away from Stew Leonard’s seven farm fresh food store locations.

Stew Leonard’s has stores in Norwalk, Danbury, and Newington, Conn.; East Meadow, Farmingdale and Yonkers, N.Y.; and Paramus, N.J. The relaunch of heralds in more than 150 new zip codes that are now eligible for same-day delivery, bringing the total of delivery-eligible zips to 500. Customers placing their orders online for curbside pickup will still have their groceries shopped for by Stew’s team members.

“With the launch of the newly redesigned, customers can shop Stew’s in a way that fits their lifestyle best,” said Jake Tavello, VP of stores and a grandson of Stew Leonard’s founder Stew Leonard, Sr.  “Whether they want to place an order for delivery, pick it up curbside, or stop in at the store, Stew Leonard’s legendary customer service and my family’s commitment to freshness are always the same.” 

To get started, customers must create a new login for Once logged in, they can take advantage of seeing their past purchases and rewards, plus create shopping lists from weekly specials, recipes and any other item that’s available in-store. Customers can shop by category, with the ability to sort by product type – such as organic and Stew’s Naked – and will receive personalized product suggestions based on past purchases. Shoppers can also enjoy more videos, recipes and in-depth product descriptions, including profiles of the local farmers, fishermen and ranchers who supply Stew Leonard’s with fresh food.

Norwalk, Conn.-based Stew Leonard’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. 


Indie Grocer Coming to Wisconsin’s Capital

Madison WI

It looks like a new grocery store is coming to Madison, Wis. The city of Madison – Wisconsin’s state capital and home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison – announced this week that it is finalizing lease negotiations with a grocer to open a store in an underserved south side neighborhood.

The planned store at 815 Cedar Street is a Maurer’s Urban Market, which will span 24,000 square feet and take the place of a recently-shuttered Pick ‘n Save location. In addition to center-store groceries, the store will offer fresh produce, meat and seafood and include a deli and bakery.

“I am thrilled to be working on this project. This has been a dream of mine, and I could not be more excited to be opening my first grocery store in my hometown,” said owner Kristie Maurer. Maurer is part of a family business that operates Maurer's Market in the popular Wisconsin Dells tourist town. 

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said that the new grocery store would be a much-needed addition and will be part of a revamped condominium development with affordable housing. “I am very pleased that we are delivering on the city’s promise to ensure that a full-service grocery store will continue to serve all South Madison residents from now into the future," she remarked.


Ascend Grocery Taps Seasoned Exec as President and COO

Ascend Grocery Taps Seasoned Exec as President and COO

Ascend Grocery, a group founded by a team of grocery and investment executives to acquire and open new Save A Lot locations in established and new markets, has promoted Dean Little from COO to president and COO.

A 40-year food retailing professional, Little is an owner and founding partner of Ascend Grocery, one of Save A Lot’s largest retail partners that currently owns and operates 33 stores in the greater Orlando, Fla., area. Over the past year, he helped establish clear operational standards to reinvigorate the Orlando locations. Little’s background also includes work with Vons/Safeway, Price Chopper and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, where he served as COO.

“Since taking on the Orlando area Save A Lot locations in January, Dean has been instrumental in helping us to quickly elevate our operations and ensure we are delivering an outstanding experience for our customers,” said Chris Sherrell, Ascend’s CEO. “I’m thrilled that Dean is taking on this added responsibility as we build our leadership team to position Ascend for continued growth. I have great confidence in his leadership and his ability to execute our plan to expand our network and impact beyond Orlando.”

Save A Lot has more than 850 stores in 32 states. The Earth City, Mo.-based company is No. 60 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Wegmans Makes Progress in Bid to Enter Connecticut

Wegmans Teaser

Norwalk, Conn.’s Planning and Zoning Commission has approved an application to open the first Wegmans Markets store in the Nutmeg State, according to a published report

The planned 91,000-square-foot store at 47 Richards Avenue was originally revealed in March, with an as-yet-undetermined construction and opening timeline. The store, which will feature a two-story parking garage, is slated to be built at the current 100,000-square-foot site of MBI’s Norwalk offices, which will relocate to the Merritt 7 complex in the same city. 

“What we see is that when Wegmans comes into the market, it’s a win-win for everybody,” Steve Leaty, the project manager for the grocer said during a July meeting of the commission. “Anybody that exists there today has to up their game, their experience needs to be better than Wegmans in order to compete.”

Family-owned Wegmans operates more than 100 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts. The Rochester, N.Y.-based company is No. 34 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America


Jerry Lee’s Stores to Rebrand as Jubilee Foods

Mississippi Sign Teaser

The Lee family is selling its two Jackson County, Miss.-based Jerry Lee’s Grocery stores to Ramey’s Marketplace, following the death of patriarch Jerry Lee this past February, according to a local report. Jerry Lee’s had been in business for 64 years. 

Mark Lee, Jerry Lee’s son, told WLOX News, in Biloxi, that the Pascagoula and Gautier stores would close at the end of the day on Saturday, Sept. 17, and reopen Monday, Sept. 19, under the Jubilee Foods banner. 

The Lees informed their 220 employees of the change in ownership on Sept. 7, during which they noted that the new company aimed to keep all current employees who wished to stay.

Richton, Miss.-based Ramey’s Marketplace currently operates 20 stores in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. 


UNFI Elevates Meal Solutions With Two New Lines

Beef Stroganhoff teaser

Making it easier and faster for consumers to get meals on the table, United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) is adding to its portfolio of meal solutions. The grocery wholesaler is now offering fresh meal kits from Cook•Able and flash-frozen meals from Corona, Calif.-based Cadence Kitchen.

Billed as being of restaurant quality, the new ready-to-assemble and ready-to-eat meals are available to more than 30,000 U.S. locations serviced by UNFI.  Meal kits from Cook•Able include choices like Mediterranean Chicken with Olives, Feta and Rice; Weeknight Chicken Pad Thai with Broccoli and Peanuts; and Chipotle Chicken Tacos.  With a suggested retail price range of $12.99 to $19.99, the shelf-stable kits come with pre-portioned ingredients and can be prepared for two to four people within 20 to 25 minutes.  

The Cadence Kitchen meal offerings can be heated within 15 minutes or less for a price point of between $5.99 and $9.99. Entrées include Chicken Tikka Masala, Gluten Free BBQ Mac and Cheese, Lobster Tortellini, and Prime Rib Stroganoff. There are three side dishes, too: Four Cheese Mac and Cheese, Mexican Style Street Corn, and a Vegan Latin Bowl.

“With consumers continuing to favor eating at home versus away, retailers are looking to offer delicious and effortless products to time-challenged consumers that replicate the restaurant experience at budget- friendly pricing,” said Jody Barrick, VP of bakery/deli at UNFI. “These chef-inspired offerings from Cook•Able and Cadence Kitchen give retailers a fast, delicious and reasonably priced turnkey experience, affording their teams additional time to focus on serving their customers.”

Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, the company is No. 49 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.