Kane County History: A Fond Farewell As Blue Goose Closes Its Doors After 90 Years in St. Charles

Kane County History: A Fond Farewell As Blue Goose Closes Its Doors After 90 Years in St. Charles

Introduction From The Editor

After more than 90 years in business, St. Charles’ Blue Goose Supermarket will close its doors on Sunday, March 6, 2022, according to an article in the Kane County Chronicle.

For those of us who grew up in Kane County, it is an institution that has stood for quality, community and commitment to “shopping local.”

This was the place my Swedish mother shopped for Bond Ost, Swedish sausage and herring. This was the only supermarket where our daughter would allow us to buy meat, because to her, it has always tasted better.

Blue Goose was the local grocery store every community development director coveted — and still covets — because they know that a business like Blue Goose enlivens a downtown and establishes the feeling of hometown.

It was a family business, deeply rooted, and it will be missed. Best wishes to the Lencioni family and to all the people who have made Blue Goose a destination.

Presented here is a Kane County History column celebrating this business that has become an icon, contributed by Lindsay Judd, executive director of the St. Charles History Museum.

— Rick Nagel, Kane County Connects editor

Annunciata “Nancy” Lencioni began her fruit and vegetable stand in 1928 at a small store front on Main Street. The name of the business was inspired by a wooden crate with a blue goose on it, and Blue Goose Fruit and Vegetable became the official name.

However, a small legal issue came about when another company claimed to have the same name. A ruling was made in favor of the Lencionis, and Blue Goose gained exclusive use of the name.

The first of four locations was located at 205 W. Main St. in the Gartner building block, where for 12 years the Lencionis enjoyed their successful business.

After surviving the Great Depression, Blue Goose needed a larger space and moved to the corner of 3rd and Main Street (now Rocket Fizz).

Blue Goose was the first store to use shopping carts and still primarily sold staple products like bread, fruit, and vegetables. In 1947, meats were added to the product line.

In 1963, Blue Goose began construction on their third location (at 1st and Illinois Streets) that allowed them to expand their products and become a supermarket. Nancy Lencioni’s son Vasco was owner at the time, and construction of the new store fit his philosophy of how to stay in business: changing with the times.

Blue Goose was the first self-service store in the area, the first to have scanners and checkout counters, and the first store to have refrigerated display cases.

Spending over 40 years at the 1st and Illinois location, the city of St. Charles approached Blue Goose about relocating the store to make way for the First Street Development project.

Blue Goose accepted the city’s offer and moved a couple blocks south between 1st and 2nd streets. The Lencioni family continues to operate Blue Goose with the same passion and vision of Nancy Lencioni back in 1928.

If any members of the community have Blue Goose memorabilia or ephemera that they would like to donate to the St. Charles History Museum collection, please contact Museum Director Lindsay Judd at 630-584-6967.

Blue Goose Addresses: 1928-Present

  • 205 W. Main St.— c. 1928
  • 301 W. Main St. — c. 1940s
  • 1st & Illinois St. — c. 1963
  • 300 S. Second St. — c. 2008

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