NEWINGTON – New parents desperately looking for baby formula amidst the shortage can turn to their local Stew Leonard’s for relief.
The grocer’s Newington store is among its three Connecticut locations that just stocked their shelves with popular hypoallergenic infant formula Similac Alimentum.
In the family-owned company’s 53-year-history this is the first time Stew’s has sold a baby product, Head of Store Operations Jake Tavecco told the media.
“This is an item we don’t normally sell, but being a family-owned business we wanted to help the community and families feeling that strain so this became a top priority for us,” Tavecco explained.
All three stores received shipments containing 5,000 units each. The 32 oz. bottles were neatly stacked at the front of the Newington store Monday afternoon, priced at $16.99 each.
Grocery stores in Connecticut are experiencing some of the highest formula shortages in the country, according to Datasembly. The out-of-stock rate surpassed 40% in May, reports said.
“It was difficult but being in business over 50 years we have a long term relationship with a lot of vendors and buyers,” Tavecco said. “In the last couple of years due to the pandemic we’ve had to pivot and maneuver to fill various needs.”
The same display case now carrying formula once had hand sanitizer and toilet paper, when those products were hard to find.
There is currently no limit as to how many units can be purchased in-store and the company expects to receive another 20 pallets of formula very soon, according to Tavecco.
“We’re just going to keep buying it until the need here is met,” he said.
As the parent of “a feisty two-year-old” he understands the desperation parents can feel and said this meant a lot to him and the Leonard family as a whole.
“I’m a third-generation member of the Leonard family,” said Tavecco, a grandson of company founder Stew Leonard Sr. “We’re all having kids right now, so this really hit close to home for us.”
The eldest daughter of CEO Stew Leonard Jr. is due to give birth in two weeks.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at email@example.com.