Thursday, 10 January 2013 14:59

New Style Stewarts to Be Built in Galway

By Patricia Older | Business
GALWAY – A new look is coming for Stewarts with the latest store being built on Route 29 in Galway. The largest of all Stewarts, the Galway shop will also feature, for the first time, a peaked roof instead of the flat, mansard roof typical of most Stewarts.
“The architecture is much different with this shop,” said Tom Lewis, Real Estate Representative for Stewarts. “Instead of the mansard roof this one will be a peaked roof.” The shop will also be the largest to date for the 68-year-old company.

“In the 90s we did only 2400-square-foot shops,” said Lewis.

From there, he said, the company went to 2800 square feet, and eventually 3000 square feet buildings, while keeping the same recognizable and familiar façade. The Galway Stewarts will be 3384 square-feet, but will still offer the same services and amenities as every other Stewarts. It is their 325th store in upstate New York and Vermont. “There is one other shop that has a similar look – in Halfmoon,” said Lewis. “But it is not quite the same and it is smaller.”

Stewarts first began in 1945 when the Dake family purchased an ice cream shop from Ballston Spa native Donald Stewart. The company is still based out of Saratoga Springs. Initially famous for its fresh ice cream and the make-your-own sundaes, Stewarts gained popularity as a quick stop for coffee, milk or small convenience store items. For most upstate residents, the shops seem to be located around every corner.

It also became a staple for residents seeking employment, even part time. Both employee and company owned, Stewarts offers its employees a number of incentives to make a career with them including profit sharing and a retirement plan in which the company pays 100 percent. The balance of the retirement plan, after five to six years, should equal a year’s pay. They also offer health, vision and dental insurance, as well as vacation time, dependent care reimbursement, and use of the company Lake Placid condominium. Ten of the 325 stores are located in Vermont, with the remaining 315 spread throughout 30 upstate counties and the company employs approximately 4000 people. Lewis said the Galway store will operate much like every other Stewarts and will have six full-time and six part-time employees. He added that it was an ideal location for a new store with the Broadalbin store eight miles west of it, Charlton, about 10 miles south, Saratoga, 11 miles east, and Middle Grove approximately nine miles away.

“It’s like the center of the donut,” said Lewis.

The new shop, which will be located on the corner of routes 29 and 147, is being built where a former Mobil gas station was located and a small deli and convenience store. Lewis said they had been trying to acquire the site for some time, but that the property had been tied up in bankruptcy court. The gas station and store closed about nine months ago. “It was purchased the end of December and we then had to get all the permits,” said Lewis. “Demolition is starting this week.”

Groundbreaking for the new store will begin the first week of March, depending on the weather.

“It will be the same efficiently run store and our focus will be on the customer,” said Lewis.

The new shop is slated to be open by early May.

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