There are only six Stew Leonard's locations — in the New York and Connecticut area — but any frequent shopper of the grocery store will tell you there should be more like 600. Founded in 1969, the grocery store (which technically calls itself "The World's Largest Dairy Store") is a family-owned business that quickly became a cult favorite among shoppers looking for good deals, quality products, and even a bit of entertainment.
Here are 11 things you can find at Stew Leonards — and not at your usual grocery store.
1. House-Made Kettle Chips
Does your supermarket have a Potato Chip Department? Didn't think so. Every day, the Potato Chip Department folks at Stew Leonard's slice up tons of potatoes and fry them in 100 percent pure soybean oil — right in front of you! You can choose from flavors like BBQ, sweet potato, or plain.
2. Snowball Rolls
Bethy Leonard Hollis — the daughter of the store founder, Stew Leonard Sr. — runs the bakery departments and is responsible for all sorts of goodies like quinoa bread, hearth-baked bagels, and the store's iconic snowball rolls. As soft as real snowballs, these were influenced by the Portuguese roll and are ideal for sandwiches or as classic dinner rolls. Between all six Stew Leonard's locations, the store sells two million snowball rolls a year!
3. Apple Cider Donuts
While other supermarkets only sell apple cider donuts in the fall, Stew Leonard's makes them from scratch and sells them every day — all year long.
4. Lobster Rolls
More than 150 lobster boats head out every morning to fish the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Maine. The same day the lobsters are caught, they get sent to Stew Leonard's, where they're turned into lobster rolls for hungry shoppers.
5. Power House Salad
Stew Leonard's has a massive wall dedicated to its house-made salad mixes. (If you think Trader Joe's had a lot of salads, wait until you see the selection at Stew Leonard's!) One of the most popular options is the Power House Salad, featuring chopped broccoli, carrots, red cabbage, green cabbage, kale, and diced cauliflower.
6. Bananas from a Dancing Chiquita Banana
Yes, you can buy bananas from any supermarket. But Stew Leonard's is the only place you can pick out your bananas among a singing and dancing animatronic Chiquita Banana. And when you think about it, 59 cents for a pound of bananas and a show isn't too bad!
7. Wacky Pizzas
In addition to the standard pizzas (think: cheese, pepperoni, and Buffalo chicken), the folks at Stew Leonard's are always dreaming up new creations. Come November, you can find the Thanksgiving pizza — instead of cheese and sauce, the pizza is topped with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, and gravy.
8. Freshly Dipped Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Every February, Stew Leonard's chefs bring back their most popular Valentine's Day treat: fresh, jumbo, long-stemmed strawberries hand-dipped in white and dark Belgian chocolate. You can watch it happen live!
9. Christmas Cookie Milk
In 2016, Stew Leonard's launched the limited-time Christmas Cookie Milk for the holidays. It became a shopper favorite and now people count down all year until it's time for the stuff to come back in stock. What's it taste like? The store bills it as a "sweet, creamy milk that has the same flavor as a sugar cookie that's been dunked in milk."
10. Bubba Biscuits
Don't have time to make your own dog treats? It's okay — the people at Stew Leonard's do! These freshly baked treats are made with rolled oats, whole-wheat flour, locally sourced eggs and bacon, peanut butter, and pumpkin purée.
11. Free Ice Cream!
For every $100 you spend at Stew Leonard's you get a free ice cream cone. Use it as a reward for your toddler — or, um, yourself! — after a successful outing.
Have you been to a Stew Leonard's? What do you like to get there?