Products | Customer Service | Contributions & Community
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Where’s the new ice cream flavor you had for cones?
Seasonally we introduce a variety of new flavors for a limited time. Those flavors that do well are most likely to return to the cone counter. Those flavors that sell very well occasionally get put into a half gallon or Spooner pint package.
Why is my ice cream missing its candy pieces?
Added ingredients such as candy pieces, nuts and swirls are added through a manually fed machine at the end of the production process. A half gallon that does not have these could have come from the beginning or end of the production day. We offer a 100% guarantee on all of our products. We will replace the product or refund our customer’s money at the shop when the product is returned.
Is your ice cream gluten free?
Some of our flavors are gluten free. Customers with gluten intolerance should refer to the ingredient listings on the packages or the “dip ice cream ingredients” flip chart available at our cone counter. Our ingredient listing is an expanded label, which means that it gives the ingredients for added pieces in parenthesis immediately following each ingredient.
Why aren’t there any light flavors in the Flavor of the Week promotion this week?
The flavor of the week selection is primarily flavor driven. We have dozens of flavors of ice cream, light ice cream, and sherbet. In order to offer all flavors, we must rotate through all types. Ice cream makes up the greatest portion, so you will always see it on promotion. Light and sherbet make up smaller portions of the whole flavor selection.
Do you have sugar free ice cream?
We have Premium Spooner Pints of no sugar added, low fat vanilla ice cream. It’s so good, your taste buds won’t know the difference!
Will you ever make lactose free ice cream or soy milk?
There is not enough demand to warrant offering these low volume/niche products, as we cannot guarantee the quality. It’s a freshness and quality issue.
Can you have an ice cream club card like that of the milk club card?
We do not offer an ice cream club card, as we have the Flavor of the Week program and three ice cream sales per year – a greater value.
Milk & Eggs
How does your milk club work?
Every half gallon’s worth of Stewart’s milk, juice, or drink a customer purchases, they get one stamp on the milk club card for that specific store. After 10 stamps, the customer is entitled to a free half gallon of Stewart’s milk, juice, or drink or a half-priced gallon of milk. If a customer uses one full card for a half-priced gallon, they will receive one stamp on a new card for the half gallon’s worth of milk they paid for. Milk club cards are limited to one per shop for control and simplicity reasons.
Can I combine multiple milk club cards from the same shop?
Multiple milk club cards that are all from the same store can be combined, as they represent purchases from the same store.
Why does your fat free milk (aka skim) taste so good?
Why doesn’t it look blue like other company’s fat free?
Our fat free milk is fortified with non-fat milk solids, which give it a better taste and looks more like milk. The fortification process also replaces some of the nutrients lost in the process of removing the fat. It is important to note that it is all dairy, real milk.
Why don’t you have 1/2 & 1/2 in quarts?
Our shops are small and we can’t offer every product in multiple packages. We also have to keep in mind the rotational/new products that are placed in our coolers such as egg nog or flavored creamer. Our 1/2 & 1/2 is fresh and NOT ultra-pasteurized (UHT). Two pint containers will stay fresher much longer than one quart, as the product is not exposed to the air as long.
Why does the milk at the grocery store have a longer code than yours?
Some milk and most milk by-products at the grocery store are Ultra Pasteurized (UHT). When a dairy product is pasteurized, it is basically cooked at a high temperature for a very short period of time to kill any bacteria that may be present that would cause the product to spoil. Ultra pasteurization involves an even higher temperature cooking process and can change the flavor of the milk. It doesn’t taste as fresh. Since we haul, produce, package and ship our own milk (every three days) we can control the quality of the product – giving our customers the freshest milk possible. It is 48 hours from cow to shelf!
Why do your milk cartons say “manufactured by”; isn’t your milk real milk?
Our milk comes from dozens of local farms. We haul the raw milk to our plant, where it is separated, processed, packaged and distributed. The term “manufactured by” indicates that the product is processed and packaged by that company. Many companies’ labels read “packaged by” or “distributed by”, but often does not indicate who manufactured the product.
Where does your milk come from?
Our milk comes from dozens of local farms in the communities surrounding our plant, in Saratoga, Washington and Rensselaer Counties. We haul and process milk daily. With deliveries to the shops every three days, our milk is the freshest around. 48 hours from cow to shop!
Does your milk have antibiotics in it?
We get our milk from dozens of local farms. We work closely with them and do on site inspections routinely. Every load of milk, which we haul ourselves, is screened for antibiotics, among other things. If antibiotics are present, we refuse the entire load. The milk from one antibiotic positive cow is enough to show a positive test for the entire load and that load of raw milk would be discarded.
Does your milk have rBST or Bovine Growth Hormones?
rBST (Rocombinant Bovine Somatatropin) is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring hormone BST (Bovine Somatatropin) produced by cows. Our farmers continue to pledge not to treat their cows with artificial growth hormones.
Is there a test for rBST (artificial growth hormone) in milk?
No, currently there is not a test for rBST. This is because BST is naturally occurring in all cows and has the same molecular structure of rBST.
Is milk from cows treated with rBST different from milk without rBST?
Stewart’s Shops and our farmers continue to pledge not to use added growth hormones (rBST) even though the FDA has concluded that there is no significant difference between milk from cows treated with rBST and those that are untreated. Due to growing customer concern, we at Stewart’s Shops are choosing to educate our customers about our farmers’ continued pledge not to treat their cows with rBST to help you make a more informed decision when shopping for your family.
Why is Stewart’s milk pasteurized vs. ultra-pasteurized?
Stewart’s Shops milk is fresh and only comes from local farms. We pick up the milk ourselves, pasteurize it at our own dairy, bottle it, and deliver it directly to our shops in 48 hours or less. It is guaranteed fresh and therefore does not require the additional processing of ultra-pasteurization. Ultra-pasteurization exposes milk to extremely high heat in order to increase the safety and shelf-life of milk for months. Unfortunately, this process changes the flavor of the milk and also destroys many of its valuable vitamins and minerals. When you buy Stewart’s milk you are not only supporting local farms, you are getting better tasting milk that is better for you.
Where do your eggs come from?
Our eggs come from Thomas’ Poultry Farm in Schuylerville, NY – just 15 miles east of our plant. We get fresh eggs from them 7 days a week. Your eggs are only days old when they get to the shop.
Why did your egg cartons change?
There is a temporary shortage of our normal paper egg cartons, due to a fire at the plant that makes them. We will be using Styrofoam cartons from Thomas’ Farm in the meantime. These are still the same eggs.
Why is there such a variety in size of the brown eggs in your large package?
Thomas’ often has spare extra large and jumbo eggs because there is not a great demand for brown eggs. Rather than dispose of the spares, they mix them into the packages with the large eggs, giving the customers a little more than what they are paying for. This is an allowable practice. If you take the smallest brown egg from the package labeled large and compare it to a “large” white egg, they should be the same. It’s also important to note that egg size is determined by weight, not shell size.
What is the difference between brown eggs and white eggs?
Nutritionally there is no difference in a white or brown egg. It is nothing more than a pigmentation difference in the chicken.
Why did you remove the gas from my local Stewart’s Shop?
In some of our shops, we have chosen to remove the gas because the low level of sales does not cover the cost of the installation. Also, in most cases, the lots are small and removal of the gas relieves some of the congestion, making it a more convenient place for our customers to park and shop. These locations tend to be primarily grocery shops that just happen to sell gasoline.
Where does your gas come from?
Most of our locations are unbranded. The gas we purchase for our unbranded locations come from various terminals. This allows us more flexibility and control over the prices we pay and the price we charge, while continuing to offer a quality product.
Is your gas from foreign or domestic sources?
Most of our shops are not tied to one brand of gas. This allows us to purchase quality gasoline from a number of different suppliers at the best price possible. No matter where the gasoline is purchased from, it comes from “big oil”. Much of the United State’s crude oil supply used for refining comes from foreign sources. Since refined gasoline products are openly traded on the world market, it is uncertain that anyone can be guaranteed where the oil to make it has come from.
Why does the cost of gas go up in the summer?
Refineries produce a more expensive, but cleaner burning fuel in the summer, which typically starts selling around Memorial Day. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put this program in place to reduce air pollution and smog. Winter blends start phasing in around mid-September.
Why is there a hold on my account for my pay-at-the-pump gas purchase?
When paying at the pump, a pre-authorization amount, based on the card type, up to $100.00 is sent to the financial institution to verify the validity of the card. Your financial institution may choose to hold the pre-authorized amount until the transaction posts to your account, which could take up to 3-5 business days. These holds may show as pending transactions to your account and hold available funds until the actual amount is posted. To avoid these holds, payment can be made inside our shops.
Who makes your private label?
We make our own ice cream, milk, drinks and most of our hot Food-To-Go. Reputable local companies make many of the other private label items for us. This allows us to pass on the savings and offer our customers a quality product at a great value.
Can I buy your products on-line or through the mail?
We are not set up for on-line or mail order purchases, nor do we ship our products elsewhere. Our plant and warehouse is focused on servicing and supplying our 330 shops.
Why do you throw away day old milk & bread?
We try NOT to throw out day old products. We would rather give them to local food pantries, but if they cannot be picked up in a timely fashion, they have to be disposed.
Why do you carry adult sophisticate magazines?
These magazines are placed at the top of the racks, out of reach of children. They are wrapped and the covers blocked from viewing. We do not sell them to minors and they are not permitted to be read in shops. It is our feeling that not selling this product would be a form of censorship and a first amendment issue.
Why are not all customers given bags?
We should always ask you if you want a bag. Most customers buying a couple of items will usually refuse one.
Why don’t I get a receipt for my purchases?
You should be asked if you want a receipt. Most of our customers are buying one or two items and usually do not want one.
Why don’t you have a separate line for lottery?
Not all of our lottery customers are just playing lottery. In order to be fair, we sometimes alternate lengthy transactions such as lottery, with a quick transaction.
I’m 32 years old, why do I always have to show my ID for beer & cigarettes?
Laws are more stringent now. Employees can also be held responsible for improper sales, resulting in fines, termination and possible jail time. Just two incorrect sales in a year can result in our loss of license to sell tobacco and lottery, inconveniencing all. We also need to ID everyone consistently out of fairness for the other customers in line. We have an average of 7,000 customers per shop per week. Unfortunately, we can’t remember every customer.
Why do you scan my ID and how is the information used?
IDs are scanned to verify that the date of birth on the front of the card is true and accurate. The only information retained is the date of birth. No personal identifying information is retained by us.
Is there a public restroom for me to use?
We understand the value of this service, and ensure that all new locations have a restroom available. In many of our older locations, the shops are small and the restrooms are in locations that pose a safety or security risk. Requirements for restrooms are based on seating capacity, and we do not meet the seating requirements to mandate restrooms be available. We consider our restrooms to be courtesy to our customers.
Why are you open on Christmas Day?
Not all of our customers celebrate this holiday. Even those who do are often grateful they can buy those last minute items they forgot or get gas to travel. We do shorten our hours that day and all of the staff works shorter shifts out of fairness to all.
Are you on social media?
Stewart’s Shops is on Facebook and Twitter. We also share information to our customers and partners through the televisions that play in our shops, and on our website.
Can I buy Stewart’s stock?
No, I’m sorry. Stewart’s is a private, family and employee owned company. Employees own 1/3 of the company. Why not apply?
When will you build in my area?
We are always on the lookout for a new location. We try to keep our shops within a 150 mile radius of our plant/warehouse as we are vertically integrated – we make and or distribute 3/4 of what is sold in our shops. If a customer has a suggestion for a new location, please have them contact our Real Estate Department at 518-581-1201 Ext. 4435.
Contributions & Community
Do you donate?
We give products, gift certificates and monetary donations. We give to non-profit organizations once per calendar year out of fairness to all. There is no deadline, but we do require a two week advanced noticed for product and gift certificate donations. We have additional guidelines for monetary requests. All donation requests should be made to the donations department at (518) 581-1201 ext. 2190.
How does the Holiday Match program work?
We collect money from our customers from Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Day. The individual donations are then matched by Stewart’s and allocated to local children’s charities from the communities in which we are located who have applied. In 2014, Stewart’s Shops, its customers, and media partners raised over $1.5 million. After this year’s funds have been distributed, the Stewart’s Holiday Match program will have allocated more than $20 million since the program’s inception in 1986. Applications for funds will be available in the shops and online as of Thanksgiving Day, and are due by January 31st.
Can I put a canister in your shop for my fundraiser?
Our counter space is small and valuable. Many groups ask to use the counters for their fundraising. For fairness and accountability reasons, we cannot allow groups to leave cans. If a group is doing other organized fundraising such as a dinner or raffle, please refer to the Stewart’s donations line at (518) 581-1201 ext. 2190.
Do you do scholarships?
Our employees’ spouses and children are eligible to apply for the Make Your Own Scholarship, funded by Philly Dake’s estate. Please direct your questions to JMaxam@stewartsshops.com. We do not have a scholarship program for the public.
Can we sell cookies or raffle tickets as a fundraiser at your shops?
Please contact the donations department at (518) 581-1201 ext. 2190 to be taken into consideration.
Can I put my business card on your bulletin board?
The “Did you Know?” board is for non-profit organizations to advertise their functions and for us to inform/teach the community. It is NOT intended for sales material, private businesses or political information.
Can I place my election sign on your lawn?
We refrain from taking sides on political issues. Out of fairness, we do not allow any political signing anywhere on our property.