Stew Leonard Sr., the founder of Stew Leonard’s, is a name synonymous with innovation, exceptional customer service, and the art of retail. His visionary approach to business and relentless commitment to quality has earned him a well-deserved reputation as a retail legend. With humble beginnings and a passion for providing the best products and experiences to his customers, Stew Leonard Sr. created a retail empire that continues to thrive and inspire.

Stew Leonard Sr.

Born in 1929, Stew Leonard Sr. grew up in a small town in Connecticut, USA. From an early age, he exhibited an entrepreneurial spirit, starting with his first business venture of delivering eggs door-to-door on his bicycle. He learned the value of hard work and customer satisfaction, which would shape his future endeavors.

Stew Leonard Death

Stew Leonard, the retail legend passed away on April 26, 2023, at the age of 93 at a hospital in Manhattan. He was a very visionary founder and devoted all his life to the betterment of people. Stew left no stone unturned in making his businesses successful and was an inspiration for many.

Even at the age of 90 plus he was aware of what was happening in the market and what is in demand which will help in the upliftment of the business. He was a true visionary who was full of innovations and ideas that were absolutely new and unique.

His death was a result of some complications in pneumonia as said by his family. He died peacefully amidst his family members in the hospital in Manhattan. Stew’s death was a huge shock for everyone but we all should be happy as Stew left a legacy behind which will continue for many years.

Stew Leonard’s First Dairy Store In Norwalk

In 1969, Stew Leonard Sr. opened his first dairy store in Norwalk, Connecticut. It was a modest establishment that focused on providing top-quality milk and dairy products. However, Stew’s commitment to exceptional service and an immersive customer experience quickly set his store apart from the competition.

Stew Leonard's First Dairy Store In Norwalk

He introduced several innovative concepts, including milk being sold in transparent bottles, allowing customers to see the freshness of the product, and petting zoos to entertain children while their parents shopped.

Stew’s dedication to delivering the best products led him to adopt the motto “Rule #1: The customer is always right. Rule #2: If the customer is ever wrong, reread Rule #1.” This customer-centric philosophy became the cornerstone of Stew Leonard’s business and culture, creating an environment where customers felt valued and appreciated. Stew instilled this mantra in every employee, ensuring that exceptional service was at the core of the company’s DNA.

Stew’s Most Significant Contributions

One of Stew’s most significant contributions to the retail industry was his emphasis on educating customers. He pioneered the concept of informative signs throughout the store, offering cooking tips, nutritional advice, and even the store’s financial statements. By providing transparent information, Stew empowered his customers to make informed choices, fostering trust and loyalty.

Stew Leonard’s success and reputation continued to grow, leading to the opening of additional locations and accolades from industry experts. Stew Leonard Sr. became a respected figure in the retail world, sought after for his insights and expertise.

Stew's Most Significant Contributions

He shared his knowledge through books and speaking engagements, inspiring countless entrepreneurs and business leaders to prioritize customer satisfaction and create extraordinary experiences.


Stew Leonard’s remains a family-owned and operated business, with Stew Leonard Sr.’s son and grandchildren carrying on his legacy. Despite its expansion, the company has remained true to Stew’s founding principles, offering exceptional products, unparalleled customer service, and a unique shopping experience. Stew Leonard Sr.’s impact on the retail industry and his unwavering commitment to customers have left an indelible mark, making him a true pioneer and founder to be admired and celebrated.

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