Stew Leonard's Celebrates 1st NJ Store With Springsteen Tribute

Stew Leonard's Celebrates 1st NJ Store With Springsteen Tribute

By:  Kimberly Redmond

Stew Leonard's celebrated the grand opening of its first-ever store in the Garden State in the most Jersey way ever.

During Friday morning's festivities, the store unveiled a 31-foot high birthday card in honor of Bruce Springsteen's 70th birthday that will be presented to the famous rocker during the 2019 New Jersey Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Oct. 27 in Asbury Park.

Set to a soundtrack of Springsteen's "Born to Run" album, Stew Leonard, Jr., president and chief executive officer, said, "We're excited to open this store. It's our first store in New Jersey, so this is a special opening."

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests and shoppers were invited to sign the card, as well as have a piece of a huge guitar-shaped birthday cake made in the store's bakery.

Springsteen's birthday is Monday, but shoppers can stop by the store through the end of day Friday to send their best wishes to The Boss.

Leonard expects the card will garner more than a million signatures.

Sen. Bob Menendez, who said he generally doesn't attend new business openings, came to Friday's event because Stew Leonard's because it was "unique," in that it brought 400 new jobs into the area and welcomed the chain.

He also added it was a great idea for Stew Leonard's to introduce itself to New Jersey "with a birthday card to the boss."

Earlier this week, one of the 2019 New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees, Martha Stewart, stopped in to check out the new supermarket at Paramus Park during a special invitation-only reception.

As part of the festivities, a New Jersey-born bovine was named after Nutley-native Stewart.

The supermarket's official opening on Wednesday drew thousands of shoppers.

The $400 million store has taken the place of Paramus Park's anchor spot previously held by the now-shuttered Sears. The company has hired 400 employees to work at the new location, according to Stew Leonard's.

Dubbed as "the Disneyland of Dairy Stores" by the New York Times, Stew Leonard's supermarkets offer up farm fresh food and interactive animatronic characters that perform shows to entertain shoppers.

The Paramus store also includes a brand new feature for Stew Leonard's - an Augmented Reality app called Stew's Magic Door that allows users to point their smart device at barn door signs around the supermarket and play educational games.

The family-owned grocery chain began in 1969 as a small dairy store with seven employees. It has since expanded to six locations in Connecticut and New York, employing more than 2,200 people. It also licenses its name to nine wine shops, including locations in Paramus, Clifton and Springfield.

Stew Leonard's Wines & Spirits of Paramus has been moved to the interior of the new store, making it the chain's first supermarket to sell both food and wine.

The supermarket - located at 700 Paramus Park, Paramus, NJ- will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.