Stewart’s Shops Adds $11M to Employee Stock Ownership Plan

Stewart’s Shops Employee Stock Ownership Plan Earns Double Digit Growth

April 5, 2018 – Stewart’s Shops partners are now receiving their profit sharing statements with over 20 percent growth on their existing accounts. This success is from the service our great partners provide, our broader food service, the value of being a retailer not significantly impacted by Amazon and the changes in the Federal corporate tax law.

This growth is in addition to the $11 million company contribution to the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) which equals about 15 percent of the partners 2017 gross pay.

Stewart’s employees are called Partners, and they really are, since they own nearly 40 percent of the company through their ESOP which is 100 percent funded by the company for anyone working at least 1000 hours a year. After six years in the plan, a partner’s balance is usually greater than a year’s pay.

There are nearly 1,000 partners with a balance of over $100,000, and 67 with a balance of over $1 million. Nearly a third of these millionaires started out as hourly employees, and over a third are still actively working versus retired. This is possible because of Stewart’s stability, enabling years of double digit percent of pay contributions, plus double-digit appreciation of balances each year.

“We are very pleased to make this investment in our partners and have an average of six ESOP members per shop,” says Stewart’s Shops President Gary Dake. “They give a shop it’s special “flavor,” and build a relationship with our customers to help make their lives easier. We are doing this when so many other retailers are trying to automate their employees out of contact with their customers by replacing them with electronic ordering, self check-out, etc.”

Stewart’s ESOP participants also receive paid maternity leave, half priced YMCA fitness and day care memberships, as well as “Make Your Own” scholarships which provides $300,000 per year of scholarships to Partners dependents.

Stewart’s also wishes to share with our customers, so in addition to the Stewart’s $2.5 million charitable contributions each year, the two Dake Family Foundations each contribute $2.5 million. This means a total of around $7,500,000 per year to charities that primarily serve our customers’ communities. These Family Foundation contributions allow this level of contribution without impacting our Partners’ pay or profit sharing. We really are “Closer to You” in addition to being nearby.

Stewart’s Shops currently has positions available at its shops, plant, and corporate office. Visit their careers page at

Founded in 1945, Stewart’s Shops is an employee and family-owned convenience store chain based in Saratoga Springs, NY. Stewart’s is known for offering milk, ice cream, coffee, food to go, gasoline, and other convenience items. Today there are 336 Stewart’s Shops located in 31 counties across upstate New York and southern Vermont.