Stew Leonard’s Names Jake Tavello COO

Third-generation company leader was Progressive Grocer GenNext honoree in 2019
Stew Leonard's Jake Tavello Main Image
Jake Tavello

Family-owned and -operated Stew Leonard’s has a new COO: Jake Tavello,  grandson of store founder Stew Leonard and nephew of the company’s current president and CEO, Stew Leonard Jr. Tavello, who first joined Stew Leonard’s in 2003 while still in high school, had held the role of VP of stores since 2020, managing company-wide technology initiatives and sales opportunities. In his new role, he will oversee product quality and freshness, customer service excellence, and associate development.

“Since joining the family business, Jake has not only earned my respect, but the respect of his peers at Stew’s,” said Stew Leonard Jr. “He works hard and not only has the best interests of Stew Leonard’s at heart, but he also really wants to grow and develop our team members.”

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“I’m sure that when my grandfather first opened in 1969, he never dreamed that Stew Leonard’s would one day welcome more than 20 million shoppers a year, have 3,000 Team Members, or seven farm fresh food stores,” noted Tavello, who has worked in every department at all seven of Stew Leonard’s food stores in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. “I’m excited to be part of the team leading our family business into the next generation, and I hope to continue my family’s commitment to creating happy team members and happy customers at Stew Leonard’s.”

Before returning to Stew Leonard’s in 2015, Tavello worked for three years in the management training program at Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food MarketsNo. 34 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Once back at his family’s grocery business, he was a store director at the Danbury, Conn., location and launched Instacart at the company. He then went on to be opening VP of Stew Leonard’s in Paramus, N.J., before his promotion to VP of stores.

In 2019, Tavello was a recipient of PG’s GenNext Award, which honors emerging grocery industry leaders under the age of 40. Stew Leonard’s itself was recently named one of PG’s 2023 top regional grocers.

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