Ice cream, coffee and gas, Stewart’s Shops gets historic designation for iconic convenience stores

Ballston Spa—Stewart’s Shops was honored on Tuesday when its first store was inducted into the New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry, a program that recognizes iconic local businesses that have been around for at least 50 years and have had a noticeable impact on their regions of ‘origin. .

“Stewart’s Shops is honored to receive this recognition. We are proud to have served our communities for the past 77 years,” said Gary Dake, President of Stewart’s Shops at a ceremony commemorating the store.

Stewart’s began as a dairy farm in Middle Grove in 1917, which began selling delicious Dake’s ice cream in 1921.

After World War II, and with the founder’s son newly discharged from the army, they began selling Stewart’s Ice Cream to the public at their store in Ballston Spa, which was believed to be the first Stewart’s Shop.

In 1948, they offered collapsible paper ice cream cartons, which allowed customers to more efficiently take home fresh ice cream.

Eventually, the business expanded to full-service convenience stores and gas stations that dot the Capital Region and much of the upstate. Stewart’s stores are now in more than 350 locations in upstate New York and southern Vermont,

State Sen. James Tedisco and Congresswoman Mary Beth Walsh, both Capital Region Republicans, named Stewart’s Shops in the state’s first class of historic businesses.

The registry was created in 2020 and is administered by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.


The company is one of the highest rated employers in New York State and employs more than 5,000 people between stores, manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters. Stewart employees are called “partners” because they own more than 40% of the company through an employee stock ownership plan.

“I have seen firsthand in my Senate district the positive impact Stewart’s has on a community, especially our small towns and rural towns, and have partnered with them on several community service projects,” Tedisco said. .

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: