‘Every Aspect of the Store is Being Updated and Renovated’: Major Makeover Underway at Walter Stewart’s Market

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New Canaan’s longest-running retail establishment is getting a major makeover.

The new entrance to Walter Stewart’s Market will be the former entrance to the wine shop, which was relocated to a new building across the parking lot. Here’s Alex (L) and Doug Stewart (R). Credit: Michael Dinan

Customers at Walter Stewart’s Market, pushing shopping carts in recent weeks over partially removed flooring as the Elm Street grocer undergoes a comprehensive renovation, soon will experience a new entrance and offerings including an expanded organic produce section and new and larger prepared foods section and salad bar, as well as new fixtures, flooring, glass and lighting in every department.

“It’s going to be easier to shop, we are expanding our produce department and we are going to offer an even better selection,” Alex Stewart told NewCanaanite.com.

Walter Stewart’s Market was located on Main Street until it moved up to its present-day Elm Street location in 1957. Photo courtesy of the Stewart family

“We will have a greatly expanded prepared foods section that is going to be the centerpiece of our store, and we are putting a brand-new, state-of-the-art kitchen upstairs to meet the demand while we revamp our deli department.”

An expanded “chef’s case” will feature healthy new “grab-and-go options,” he said, complementing new service hot food and salad bar stations.

Stewart’s is moving fast, as flooring and shelving will be replaced later this month and in October, with the new produce section complete next month and the rest of the fixtures and refrigerated cases coming in October and November, Doug Stewart said. The 1907-founded business—a family-owned mainstay of downtown New Canaan that gives generously, if often quietly, to countless community causes—anticipates an overall completion date of January-February 2018.

Stewart’s in the 1960s. Contributed

In December, Stewarts Spirits moved into the new glass-walled building across the parking lot from the market. The former wine shop “is going to be the new entrance to the market,” Doug Stewart said.

“We will enter there and that will be the expanded produce department,” he said.

Customers then will have a somewhat “different flow” as they shop, Alex Stewart said.

The Manhattan Club, a Walter Stewart’s classic. Credit: Terry Dinan

Cash registers will be in roughly the same places but shifted over a little, and the customer service area will be relocated to where the bottle machines are now, he said.

Originally located on Main Street, roughly opposite Town Hall, Stewart’s has been in its current building since 1957.

“Every aspect of the store is being updated and renovated,” Doug Stewart said.

Some of those aspects include non-customer-facing pieces such as the electrical and energy systems, the Stewarts said.

“It’s going to be really exciting,” Alex Stewart said.

3 thoughts on “‘Every Aspect of the Store is Being Updated and Renovated’: Major Makeover Underway at Walter Stewart’s Market

  1. Awesome, this will keep it competitive with places like Palmer’s in Darien and keep people from leaving town and going over to Whole Foods or Trader Joes as much.

  2. It is easy to let things remain as they are when you are already doing well. Nice to see people with a significant history in New Canaan, continue to invest and improve upon a store that in so many ways is part of the foundation of commercial New Canaan. Nice people with a positive approach.

  3. WS’s already has the BEST produce and store made bread. We (mi familia) cant imagine it being any better but we are definitely looking forward to it. Such a great store!

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