The Blue Goose closes after 94 years in St. Charles



The Blue Goose, a St. Charles community grocery store of over 90 years, closed its doors earlier this month.

Nia Cocroft, News Editor

On Sunday, March 6, Blue Goose Market officially closed its doors after over 90 years in business.

Blue Goose originated from a fruit stand, run by owner Paul Lencioni’s great grandmother, Nancy Lencioni. She began selling products on the street, but moved to a brick and mortar store in 1928. Within his family, Lencioni described a “handoff of culture” surrounding the market.
“There were a lot of things in my family that I didn’t understand until I got older, that were really parts of my family culture, like, you take great care of people,” said Lencioni, an attitude that would carry over into Lencioni’s time as owner and CEO of Blue Goose. Lencioni became owner In 2012, and CEO 4 years later in 2016. According to Lencioni, there are many reasons The Blue Goose decided to close. “It wasn’t just that people weren’t shopping here.

¨In this business environment, you need scale,” said Lencioni.
“My grandparents did incredibly well with one store that was smaller than this, but with the efficiencies that are available, the idea of small has gotten a lot bigger.”
One of Lencioni´s goals for The Blue Goose was to establish three or four locations in addition to the St. Charles location on 2nd Street. “That’s kind of a minimal, minimum sustainable scale in a business like this,” said Lencioni. However, Lencioni did not have enough team for this. “I also needed a large enough entity that I could construct a more systematic training program,” he said. “The training comes in-house, and that’s hard.”
Sam Evans, a junior at East, was a previous employee at Blue Goose. Of his time there, he said, “I loved working at Blue Goose. All of the managers were so nice and supportive. Coworkers were the same,” added Evans. Prior to working at Blue Goose, Evans was a Blue Goose customer. “It was a great stopping place during the summer for my friends and I to stop for a snack and a drink.”
“It was sad to see it [Blue Goose] going down,” he said. Although many community members, like Evans, may have been sad to see Blue Goose close, Lencioni views the market´s closure as a change for the St. Charles community. “I am not going to miss Blue Goose because I am not going to let The Blue Goose die,” he said. “I am just going to change things.”
As for what will become of the Blue Goose building, Lencioni says he is looking at selling the property to other supermarket companies interested in St. Charles.
Lencioni said that he plans to do the best he can to morph the property into a supermarket which will “better connect to St. Charles.”