KEESEVILLE — Stewart’s Shops hosted a grand opening celebration at its new Keeseville store on Friday.
The new store was built on the site of the former Wilson Farms store Stewart’s acquired earlier this year, at 1774 Main St.
The old store was torn down to make room for six pay-at-the-pump gas pumps and additional parking, which was cited as the main reason for the acquisition, as the other Stewart’s Shop in Keeseville, at 1735 Main St., didn’t have gas pumps.
Stewart’s Public Relations Specialist Maria D’Amelia the new store includes new features the company is introducing, such as pizza ovens and a fresh sub and sandwich case. It also has a walk-in beer cave, which allows for a larger variety of beer and malt beverages.
“It has a more open layout to add to the convenience for our customers,” she said.
There are three full-time and eight part-time employees at the new location. D’Amelia said it is in the upper third of Stewart’s stores in terms of size.
The 3,000-square-foot store actually opened in early November, with gas, kerosene and diesel available by the end of that month.
D’Amelia said the company is keeping the other Stewart’s store in Keeseville open.
According to the company website, Stewart’s has 300 stores in upstate New York and southern Vermont. The company employs more than 4,500.
The Dake family owns two-thirds of the company, and employees own the other third.
Milk from nearby dairy farms, juice and tea are processed at the company’s facility in Greenfield, which is also where ice cream, soups, chili and other Stewart’s-brand foods are made.
The company reported more than $1.5 billion in sales last year. Stewart’s donates $2.5 million to charity and $9 million to its employee profit-sharing plan annually.
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