Started practically as a 'yard sale' (operated
by the late Helen Robinson and her family), this event now draws sellers of antiques and collectibles from several nearby states on the first weekend fo every month.
What to buy: In addition, several antique shops (open daily) can be found in St. Charles (and the neighboring communities).
What to pay: Admission used to be $0.50 - now around $3. Small items (trinkets;jewelry) can often be negotiated under $1, but for big items (furniture), best to bring lots of cash ;-)
Blue Goose is the oldest retail business in town. Annunciata Lencioni, an immigrant Italian women called Nance by her friends, and her sons opened their fruit and veggies market in 1928. Nance had seen the Blue Goose monicker on a shipping crate, thought it sounded right and decided to call her store "Blue Goose". The store survived several challenges since its opening: the Great Depression, changes, several moves, etc. It is still a family run business (now at the 3rd generation) and it still sells top quality products. The new building is bigger and better than the old one. It just opened its doors in Feb 2008. It is a state-of-the-art store but the feeling of personal service has been preserved.
Give Blue Goose a try if you are in the area. Try some of their pastries if you do not need to buy anything else (the have really fresh food and produce all the time). They are to die for!
What to buy: super-fresh produce, pastries
Dempsey Gallery is located on the first floor of our 100+ year old barn. The gallery is open year around and has a selection of one of a kind art works. Selections include raku pottery, oil pastel paintings, jewelry, fiber art, etc.
What to buy: whatever catches your eye. they have a great variety and it is hard not to find something that you like here.
If you need to do some last minute shopping before going home, stop by Charlestowne Mall. This indoor mall features a variety of national and unique stores along with food court.
I like this mall because it does not get as crowded as the other big malls in the Chicagoland.
One of my favorite stores here is VonMaur.
There is also a Classic Cinemas next to the mall, so stop be if you want to kill some time and watch a movie.
This is the place to go to for freshly made bread! They make the bread on a daily basis and often times you buy bread that was just taken from the oven and it is still warm. They use the same recipes and baking practices as the ones in France.
If you have a friend that is allergic to gluten, this is the place to stop by and get a loaf of gluten free bread.
They have several locations in Illinois, but I am glad they have one close to my house :)
What to buy: bread and pastries, with or without gluten.
What to pay: their breads and pastries are a little bit more expensive than the ones you find in the big groceries stores, but they are freshly made and they taste much better
This is one unique store that takes care of all your pet needs. Organic food, organic treats, toys, etc. It is a nice pet store with friendly atmosphere. Stop by if you are in town and get a treat for your pet!
What to buy: organic treats for dogs and cats
This store is located in another historical building downtown St Charles. Its former name was Colson's Department Store.
John Foby Colson, born in Sweden in 1853, came to St. Charles with his family before his second birthday. Colson worked for 12 years as a clerk in L.C. Ward's store. Later he worked as a clerk for Charles Anderson at Anderson’s Dry Goods Store, which stood at 24 W. Main Street. Several years prior to Anderson's death, Colson became his business partner. When Anderson died in 1880, Colson retained the business for himself and renamed it Colson's. In the early 1900s, Colson moved his business to 116 W. Main Street.
The store remained in the Colson family for over 80 years. John Colson's children worked in the store when they were young and his sons, Harold and Lloyd, continued the family business after their father's death. It wasn't until 1963, when Lloyd sold the store to Marion Greene, that the store ceased to be owned by the Colson family.