It’s going to be tough for Barbara Daugherty to say goodbye to Victoria’s Crossing.
The retail business has been a mainstay in downtown Genoa for more than 20 years and will close its doors this fall. Its owners, Barbara and George Daugherty, recently decided to retire and sold their property to Prairie State Winery.
Barbara Daugherty opened her first shop in Naperville in 1976. Twenty years later she sold the business and opened up several shops in downtown Saint Charles. She later sold those stores, met her future husband, and moved to Genoa where she fell in love with country living.
The duo opened Victoria’s Crossing at 220 W. Main St. in 1992, and the business has since grown from a 800-square-foot storefront into a 5,000-square-foot retailer specializing in gifts, collectibles, antiques, home furnishings and everything in between.
Barbara Daugherty recently spoke with Daily Chronicle Web Editor Lawerence Synett about saying goodbye to the business she has poured so much into over the years.
Synett: What made you want to open up a shop in Genoa?
Daugherty: When we moved out here, I just fell in love with Genoa. It was such a breath of fresh air after living in Naperville for 20-plus years. We came here for the peace and quiet of country living, but after a while, I found that there was no real place to shop, and the town was looking pretty shabby with empty buildings. We tossed around the idea of opening up a shop. I just loved the look and feel of Genoa, the tree-lined streets, the size of downtown. We had to do it.
Synett: How has business been over the years?
Daugherty: We’ve been able to expand so much while we have been here. For five years (in the late 1990s) we had just a phenomenal run, and we have had a successful business going ever since. It has been a wonderful success story for us. We are one of the lucky ones who have been able to survive. We feel pretty good about that. It was nice to put the retirement sign on the window instead of the going out of business sign. We are proud of what we accomplished.
Synett: What types of items has your store carried over the years?
Daugherty: We are real big on home accessories. We have a beautiful line of lamps, tables, pictures, wall hangings and floral arrangements that are now thinning out. We have a beautiful baby carriage from the late 1800s that is the focal point of our front room that will be hard to say goodbye to. We had a brass cash register that we just sold last week after having it here for all 21 years. I cried when we sold it. I said, “Goodbye old friend.” We hated to part with it, but it is going to a good home. The thing that has been really interesting about our store is that we have always offered variety.
Synett: Why retire now, and how hard is it going to be to say goodbye?
Daugherty: It’s just time. We played with the idea last year, but it wasn’t in our hearts. We stretched it out to this year. I am concerned if something were to ever happen to either one of us, everything thinks about that. We are in our 70s now and have grandchildren all over. We want to see them. We are also snowbirds, and have a place in Arizona. The team has always held down the fort while we were out playing.
As we empty out another area or sell things off, we have a hard time looking at one another because we burst into tears, but it’s time to move on.
Synett: How are you guys going to liquidate your merchandise?
Daugherty: Right now, everything in the store is at least 40 percent off. We don’t know when our last day is for sure, it just depends on how fast the inventory goes. Our lease isn’t up until Oct. 1, but it is possible we might be out sooner.
For information about Victoria’s Crossing, call 815-784-2868 or visit www.victoriascrossing.com.