Owner of Stewart’s Corp. in Millbrook to share the scoop

MILLBROOK — Wednesday, Feb. 2, was a big day at the Stewart’s Shop at 3292 Franklin Ave. in Millbrook, as the owner and president of the Stewart Corporation, Gary Dake, was on hand to work a three-hour shift, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. He was filling in for store manager Samantha Daprile.

In a Facebook post Daprile shared what it was like to have the big man on campus, so to speak, and why he came.

“We did so well with holiday match this year that he’s coming to town! Please come in and meet him, have him scoop you ice cream! Bring positive vibes with you and meet the face of the company we love so much! Hope to see you in the shop!”

Many customers did stop by to meet Dake and said they had a very pleasant experience.

Dake and his popular Stewart’s Corporation are known for being community-minded. The corporation has 354 stores in 322 counties between New York and Vermont.

With her vibrant personality, Daprile has been welcoming loyal customers with a big smile since she started working there in 2018.

Dake said he appreciates the hard work of all of his employees. About once a year he personally works at three of his stores.

“I learn something new each time,” he said. “What a wonderful crew and a wonderful group of customers here.”

Daprile, originally from Rhinebeck, travels more than an hour each way to get to Millbrook from Kherhonkson where she now lives. But she loves her job, her customers and Millbrook.

The Millbrook Stewart’s earned the visit from Dake by doing so well in the annual Holiday Match program from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. Every donation made by customers was matched by Stewart’s; the Millbrook store showed the most gain in donations this year, thus earning the visit from Dake.

Donations go toward local children’s causes, including the children’s department at the Millbrook Library. Stewart’s has also worked with the Millbrook Police Department, giving out ice cream to local youths who do good deeds.

“We stay small, we’re community and family based,” said Dake.

Stewart’s is known to reward employees: managers can share in company profits and workers can earn shares in the company.

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