OSWEGO — Widely popular, one-stop shop convenience store chain Stewart’s Shops celebrated the inauguration of their latest location in the city of Oswego with a ribbon cutting event on Friday.
The Saratoga Springs-based chain welcomed customers to their East Oswego store located on East Fifth and Bridge streets, after receiving approval from city officials last year to begin construction on the site. Originally, the convenience store can trace its roots back to 1945, when it started out as an ice cream vendor, and now has more than 300 locations.
“Our roots are in dairy,” said Erica Komoroske, a public relations specialist with Stewart’s, noting the company purchases milk and dairy products from 25 local farms in the counties of Rensselaer, Washington and Saratoga. “We actually love sourcing our milk from local dairy farmers because it allows us to provide fresh milk. From farm to shelf, it takes within 24 to 48 hours. Our drivers will pick it up at the farm, then we produce the milk at our plant and then deliver it ourselves to our shops.”
Komoroske called the company “unique” due to its “versatility.”
“We are a convenience store, but we are also a dairy shop,” she said. “Right now we have 335 shops and we hope we will be one of those great community partners in Oswego, who are there to support the community.”
Local officials were present at the ceremony and praised the chain for its contributions to the local economy.
“I think it is a statement to the direction the city is going toward,” said Oswego Common Councilman Robert Corradino, R-7th Ward. “I think it is a confirmation, they not only opened one store but felt our community deserved a second one.”
The opening of the shop is reflective of the city’s focus on “being pro-business and pro-quality of life,” Corradino added.
Advocacy in local communities is also an important part of Stewart’s operations, Kamoroske said. Company representatives present at the ribbon cutting Friday granted $1,000 in funds to the Children’s Museum of Oswego (CMOO).
“Stewart's is a huge believer in giving back to the communities we serve together,” Komoroske said. “We donate $7.5 million annually to local charities and causes.”
Evan Coy, the manager of the new east side location, said he was “excited” for the opening of the city’s second location.
“We are so excited to be here and to be on the other side of the river,” he said after the ribbon cutting. “Now we got a store on both sides and the community has been great.”
The East Oswego Stewart’s Shops went up quickly following approval from the city Planning Board in November 2018. The recently opened store sits on the site of a former car dealership, which was demolished to make way for the convenience store.