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On the Road: Stew Leonard’s, Paramus, NJ

PARAMUS, NJ—This store is bananas, and it’s not just the singing one.

Here I thought Jungle Jim’s International Market in Cincinnati was bonkers (and I mean that in the best way possible). Stew Leonard’s BB #:144205 has singing bananas. And singing avocados. And singing cows.

The retailer just opened its newest location in a mall in an anchor site formerly occupied by Sears. I love to see a grocer come in and occupy “dead mall” space, which will hopefully bring some life into the shopping center.

Judging by the full parking lot and crowds I had to muscle through, it’s working.

I joke about the animatronics and carnival-like atmosphere, but Stew Leonard’s clearly operates a unique niche in its market, and brings together quality, price and an exceptional experience.

Take a look around, and try not to get the Chiquita Banana song in your head. I dare you.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.