Tom Leonard
grew up in the family business. His grandfather, Charles Leo Leonard, founded Clover Farms dairy in 1921 in a barn in Norwalk, Connecticut. Grandpa Charles gathered fresh milks from local farms, hand-bottled it and delivered it door-to-door by horse and buggy hours later. Tom’s father, Stew Leonard, eventually took over the little dairy from his father. With four milk trucks, he ran the business until 1968, when the state told him a new road would run right through his plant. So Stew started over. This time, instead of taking milk to his customers, Stew built a storefront where his customers could come to him – in the beginning for the freshest milk around and later for the other products sold and the outstanding customer service given for free.

By age five, Tom was attending meetings at the dairy with his father. By the time he was a teenager, Tom’s father was to milkmen what Paul Bunyon was to woodcutters. STEW LEONARD’S, the tiny store in Norwalk had become the world’s largest dairy. Remarkably, the Norwalk location now has annual sales of $120 million, more than 10 times the grocery store industry’s average. With the family business in his blood and a drive to succeed in his bones, Tom was determined to help his family’s business grow while putting his own stamp on things.

Tom built a second STEW LEONARD’S store, one that reflected the suggestions of his customers and team members. Starting out selling produce in a tent in Danbury, Connecticut in 1986, Tom built the second family store. He dreamed up the robots, singing milk cartons, and banjo playing dogs, gaining international attention in publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Forbes, and The International Herald Tribune. These efforts earned STEW LEONARD’S the label of "The Disneyland of Dairy Stores" and Tom the recognition in 1988 as one of the "Top 10 Young Entrepreneurs in America" by the Small Business Administration.

The result? In the 1995, Guinness Book of World Records recognized STEW LEONARD’S as having the highest sales per square foot of any store in the world. Today, the three stores accommodate over 300,000 customers each week with the total annual sales exceeding $280 million and is prominently featured in Tom Peter’s bestseller In Search of Excellence as an example of American retailing success. STEW LEONARD’S has been recognized by Fortune Magazine for the last three years in a row as one of the "Top 100 Best Companies to Work For in America."

Tom decided to strike out on his own, taking what he learned from his parents and his years at Stew Leonard’s and applying it to his own business.
Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market opened its doors to Richmond, Virginia on March 9, 2004. It didn’t take long for Richmond to find the Market and turn it into a favorite.

Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market has been recognized by Richmond Guide as #1 in the Top 15 Things to Do with Kids in Richmond, #1 in the 50 Best Food Finds in Richmond Magazine and #1 place to purchase produce in Richmond Magazine.