BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. — The Cornell University Department of Food Science named convenience-store retailer Stewart’s Shops’ milk and chocolate milk as the best in the state of New York.
The department recognized the chain as part of Cornell’s New York State Milk Quality Improvement Program at a virtual event on Aug. 25. Cornell collected samples from New York plants in October and May of whole milk, 2%, 1%, fat-free milk, flavored milk and chocolate milk. It scored the milk on various criteria, including best flavors.
Stewart’s Shops took the top honors in the chocolate milk and milk categories. It offers both 1% milk and Super Rich Whole Chocolate Milk. Stewart’s Shops saw an increase in milk and chocolate milk sales with more people at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, the company said.
The Ballston Spa, N.Y.-based chain works with 23 local dairy farms to source raw milk. The c-store chain picks up the milk daily, processes and bottles the milk at their manufacturing plant in Greenfield, N.Y.
“With roots in dairy, we pride ourselves on our longstanding history of providing fresh and local milk to our customers,” Stewart’s Shops President Gary Dake said. “This Best Milk award is a testament to our hard-working dairy farmers and our experience in the dairy industry. Our customers can feel good about buying their milk and ice cream from Stewart’s Shops knowing that they are supporting local dairy farmers. We are so proud to take top honors in both the milk and chocolate milk categories.”
In May, Stewart's Shops offered relief to dairy producers and customers during the pandemic by decreasing its hauling charge and increasing competitive premiums. It also decreased retail milk pricing.
Stewart’s Shops is an employee- and family-owned c-store chain that is known for its milk, ice cream, coffee, Easy Food meals and other convenience items. There are 336 Stewart’s Shops located in upstate New York and southern Vermont.