As pioneers of New Canaan’s retail scene, we understand that a successful business is not born overnight. Established in 1907, Walter Stewart’s is the oldest grocery establishment in town and we take pride in setting the standard for quality and dependability.
In 1907 our family patriarch, an enterprising young grocer from Ireland, bought a small grocery store on Main Street opposite New Canaan Town Hall.
The owner of the nearby grocery at Elm and Main streets decided he couldn’t compete and handed Walter Stewart the keys to his store, asking simply to pay what was fair. The “cash and carry” sold only groceries at first; customers shopped elsewhere for meat, produce, bread and dairy products. Deliveries were made by horse and wagon and later by Model T Trucks. Over the next two decades, the firm grew to eight stores, but during the Depression the family was forced to sell all but the Cash and Carry on Main.
Walter’s son, Walter A. Stewart, Sr., became its proprietor in 1933, and under him the company grew and prospered. In 1957, Stewart’s moved to our current location on Elm Street. The unique, concrete dome roof and extensive glass frontage were considered avant-garde at the time. Designed by famed architect Victor Christ-Janer, the building stands as a testament to New Canaan’s modernist movement.
Robert Bailey Stewart took the helm in 1971 and added Stewart’s Spirits three years later. In 1977, a three story addition was built to house an expanded supermarket and offices. In 2000, Alex Stewart, Bailey’s nephew and Walter Stewart’s great-grandson, took over as General Manager after managing our Spirits shop with impressive success. What has remained constant over 100 + years of dramatic change is our family’s total commitment to our customers.
As your lives have changed, so has our company. Our expanded deli, organic produce, take-out fresh and healthy lunches and dinners, growing catering business, and authentic fresh sushi bar provide nutritious meal solutions for your active full lifestyles.
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
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!