Stewart’s Shops is a 1/3 employee and 2/3 family-owned convenience store chain based in Saratoga Springs, NY. Today there are 335 Stewart’s Shops located across upstate New York and southern Vermont, with three quarters of our shops selling gas.
This presence enables Stewart’s to realize more than $1.6 billion in annual sales. We also own all our real estate and have no debt, which ensures the long term stability of the company. Stewart’s makes a $9 million dollar contribution to our employee profit sharing plan each year, and also believes in giving back to the communities where we have shops. Annually, the company donates $2.5 million to charity, with our family foundations contributing double that amount.
Stewart’s Shops employs over 4,500 people in our shops, dairy, ice cream plant, distribution center and corporate offices. The family believes in sharing ownership with the people who built the business and feels that employee ownership is critical to the company’s growth and profitability. Being privately held allows us to make rational, long-term decisions.
We also allow our shops the ability to be different and meet the individual expectations of each community. We provide our shops the service and support they need to serve our customers and maintain shop standards. We have a uniquely pleasant atmosphere in our shops that allows our employees to get to know their customers.
Because Stewart’s produces or distributes ¾ of the products we sell, we have control over quality, pricing, and product availability to give our customers greater value and freshness. Our dairy, ice cream plant, and warehouse, which covers more than five acres of a 50 acre parcel in Greenfield Center, just outside of Saratoga Springs, is where we make our high quality products. We work closely with more than 30 local dairy farms, to provide our customers with the fresh milk that makes it from cow to shelf in just 48 hours. That milk is also used to make our dozens of ice cream flavors and dairy products including buttermilk, eggnog, and half & half. Our eggs also come fresh from Thomas’ Poultry Farm in Schuylerville, near our dairy. We also have a great flavor selection of our own refresher drinks and Stewart’s Shops® soda.
While we’ve grown into much more than an ice cream shop, our roots are in the dairy business, starting in 1921. The ice cream business was a happy business, but also gave an unusually high sense of sanitation standards. In 1945, the Dake family purchased a dairy and ice cream shop that was closed during the war from Donald Stewart of Ballston Spa.