End of an era

Beloved Hill Country store rings up final purchase after 99 years in business

Beloved Hill Country store rings up final purchase after 99 years

Dooley's Fredericksburg
Dooley’s 5-10 & 25¢ has been a Main Street staple in Fredericksburg for almost a century. Courtesy of Visit Fredericksburg

A retail fixture in downtown Fredericksburg — a store that still rings up your purchases rather than scanning them — will sell its last belly-button duster and die-cast toy car on June 30.

Tim Dooley, the third-generation owner of Dooley’s 5-10 & 25¢, is retiring and shutting down the 99-year-old shop on Main Street. Just as the store did when it opened in 1923, Dooley’s accepts only cash when you buy unique or nostalgia-inducing items like kitchenware, hats, and blankets.

Dooley had hoped to keep the Hill Country store — easily recognizable thanks to its red exterior sign with gold lettering — open until 2023 to mark the 100th anniversary, but he just couldn’t hold out until then. The proprietor told the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post that rising costs triggered by supply chain problems would have forced him to charge higher prices for traditionally low-cost goods.

“I want to stay in my niche,” Dooley said, “and my niche is getting smaller all the time.”

Dooley’s grandfather, Charles, started Dooley’s. Years later, he sold the store to his oldest son, John, who then passed it along to Tim when he retired. Now, the Dooley’s era is coming to a close.

“The world has changed in the last two years, to the extent that supply chain for us is crippling,” he said. “Cost of goods is going up every day, cost of freight is going up every day. And I’m just afraid that one of these days, people are going to look at an item in my store and say, ‘That’s just too much to pay.’ For a dime store, that’s a killer.”