History

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A pioneer in the New Canaan retail scene, family-owned and operated Walter Stewart’s Market takes pride in setting high standards for quality and dependability.

Founded in 1907 by an enterprising young grocer from Ireland, family patriarch Walter Stewart opened his “cash and carry” store on Main Street opposite Town Hall Groceries were delivered by horse and wagon, later by Model T. Over 20 years Stewart established eight more stores, but the Depression forced him to sell all but the original.

His son Walter Stewart Sr. took the helm in 1933 and shepherded its development and later expansion. The present iconic building on Elm Street was launched in 1957: its unique concrete-dome and extensive glass fronting were designed by Victor Christ-Janer, an associate of the famed Harvard Five architects.

The business continued to prosper and grow under the leadership of son Robert Bailey, who expanded the physical plant, adding a wine and liquor shop in 1974. He remains the prime owner of the Stewart operation. And his chief focus continues to be a total commitment to the customer.

Fourth generation owners Alex and Doug, Bailey’s nephews, respectively have run the day-to-day operations for 22 and 17 years.

Alex, previously manager of Stewart’s Spirits, serves as President & General Manager, Doug as VP & Marketing Director.

The brothers continue to spearhead an extensive remodeling of the market, adding state-of-the-art kitchen, hot and cold prepared foods, artisanal cheese and salad bars and increased space for local and organic produce.. The first phase saw the relocation of Stewart’s Spirits across the market parking area. The contemporary glass- fronted shop offers twice the former space for inventory, customer service and wine tastings.

As an integral part of the community fabric Stewart’s networks with charitable, civic and educational organizations in fund-raising, event planning and volunteer efforts. Recipients have included Americares hurricane relief, area food banks and emergency shelters , walk-a-thons and non-profit benefits.

We are most excited at the prospect of serving all of your needs for generations to come. Read more about us on the About page…

Walter Stewart’s 100th Anniversary

About Us

Read and learn more about what is going on currently at Walter Stewart’s. We love to keep you up-to-date with what’s new at the store!

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