ST. CHARLES – Connie Stadtfeld likes to shop at Blue Goose Market for many reasons.
"It has a hometown feel and they have all kinds of unique things," she said. "We just like to support them."
Stadtfeld and her husband, Randy, were trying to do just that during a recent trip to the store. The couple shopped at the store on Aug. 10 as part of a Facebook event to help the financially struggling grocery store.
"We are here to support them," Randy Stadtfeld said.
The store, which first opened in 1928, celebrated its 90th anniversary last year. Blue Goose Market President and CEO Paul Lencioni in July sounded a warning that the store is fighting for its economic survival.
In 1928, Annunciata “Nancy” Lencioni – his great-grandmother – opened the Blue Goose Fruit Market in what had been Gartner’s Bakery, 201 W Main St. The store moved to its current location at 300 S 2nd St. in downtown St. Charles in 2008.
Gary and Angie Franchi organized the Aug. 10 event. He hopes the event helped to bring more awareness to the store.
"I don't like to see any local businesses go under," Gary Franchi said. "I wanted to see what I could do to help. The event was actually my wife's idea. I just kind of put some of my social media brains behind it to help get the word out."
He took note that because Blue Goose is a family owned store rather than part of a giant corporation, people can actually talk to Lencioni if they need help or want to make a suggestion.
"There's a personal connection there that is so needed these days when you have these mega-corporations coming in," Franchi said.
Carolyn Zinke, of Geneva, was also shopping at Blue Goose on Aug. 10 as part of the Save the Blue Goose Market Facebook event. She is a longtime customer.
"We believe in buying local and supporting a local business," Zinke said. "We really don't like to shop at chains."
She also likes what Blue Goose has to offer.
"We love their produce and their dairy and their meat department," Zinke said.
During this particular visit, she purchased a salad and a dessert for an outdoor event at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. She also picked up a "I Love Blue Goose Market" sign that she plans to proudly display in her front yard.
Blue Goose Market has been experiencing a surge in customers following Lencioni's press conference about the store's financial health. However, he said the fight is far from over.
"Sales are higher than they've been, for sure," Lencioni had recently said. "We absolutely have a solid fighting chance. But this is just the beginning. The store is not saved. We're not yet stable."