(Norwalk, CT) – Today, April 27, 2023, Mayor Rilling released the following statement regarding the passing of Stew Leonard Sr., the founder of Stew Leonard’s, who opened the company’s first grocery store in the City of Norwalk in 1969.
“Today, the entire Norwalk community is mourning the loss of Stew Leonard Sr., who founded Stew Leonard's and opened the company's first grocery store right here in Norwalk, the community he was born in. Stew Leonard Sr. made a profound impact on our community. To Norwalk, Stew Leonard's is much more than a grocery store; it's part of our community, a way of life, and a place people can go and feel welcomed by employees who always have a smile on their faces. Stew Leonard Sr.'s friendly customer service business model, where customers are greeted by employees dressed up in costumes, speaks to his empathetic nature and generous and uplifting character, which has led to thousands of people in Norwalk and countless people across the tri-state area genuinely loving the Stew Leonard's experience. Stew Leonard's grocery store has also created employment for thousands of Norwalk residents since it opened in 1969, allowing families to live and work in the community they love. The grocery store has always gone above and beyond for our community, leading holiday events, charity fundraisers and food drives for those in need. We can't thank Stew Leonard Sr. enough for his lasting contributions to Norwalk that he has passed on to his family to carry on. The City of Norwalk sends our deepest condolences to the Leonard family as they mourn this tremendous loss.”