SARATOGA, N.Y. — Stewart's Shops proved its dairy products are a quadruple threat at the 2023 New York State Fair.
On Aug. 31, the convenience store retailer won awards for Best Milk, Best Flavored Milk, Best Chocolate Ice Cream and Best Open Class Ice Cream in New York State.
The company submitted its milk, flavored milk and ice cream for Cornell University to sample. The university's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences teams with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to assess the quality, safety and sensory taste of New York's dairy products annually. The awards are part of Cornell's New York State Milk Quality Improvement Program.
Stewart's partners with 20 local dairy farms to source its raw milk, the company said. Drivers pick it up daily and transport it to Stewart's manufacturing plant in Greenfield, N.Y., where the company processes and bottles it to ensure the highest quality standards, according to Stewart's.
The Best Milk award is based on scores generated through Cornell's Voluntary Shelf-life program, under which each New York state processing plant is visited and sampled at least twice each year. Milk samples are judged based on microbial analyses, fat determination, freezing point and flavor.
Stewart's line of flavored milk includes flavors such as strawberry milk, cappuccino milk, classic chocolate and peanut butter chocolate.
To celebrate the wins, the chain gave customers double punches on their Milk Club cards from Sept. 4 through Sept. 10. After 10 punches, club members receive either a free half gallon of Stewart's milk, juice or Refresher, or half off the price of a gallon of milk.
Stewart's ice cream awards are part of the New York State Fair's first-ever ice cream category. The retailer beat out all chocolate-flavored ice creams with no inclusions or variegates to take home the Best Chocolate Ice Cream award. The company's Mint Cookie Crumble was the winning flavor for the Open Class Ice Cream award, which covers all flavors of ice cream other than vanilla and chocolate that may contain variegates or inclusions. Stewart's Peanut Butter Pandemonium took second place in this class.
"We are thrilled and honored to be receiving these awards. They are a testament to the dedication and passion from not only our skilled dairy and ice cream teams, but also our local dairy farmers who we want to acknowledge and thank for their contributions to earning these awards," said Chad Kiesow, Stewart's Shops senior vice president. "We take great pride providing our customers fresh and local dairy products all year long, and our customers can feel good about buying their milk and ice cream from Stewart's Shops knowing that they are receiving high quality products while supporting their local dairy farmers."
New York-based Stewart's Shops operates more than 345 c-stores across 31 counties across upstate New York and southern Vermont.