After almost 100 years, Dooley’s 5-10 & 25 cent store to close in Fredericksburg

Dooley’s has served the community of Fredericksburg for 99 years. And now it’s coming to an end. On June 30, owner Tim Dooley will be retiring and shutting the doors of the almost century-long staple in Fredericksburg.

Toys that aren't battery operated.

Toys that aren’t battery operated.

Photo by Gabriel Romero

“To be quite honest, I tell people all the time that I wasn’t born in the building, but the first trip I made outside of the hospital was to the store,” Dooley jokingly said. “I’m 68 years old. I’ve been here all my life, I’ve done a few other things in my career, but I’ve been in the store most of the time.”

Dooley’s grandfather was acquainted with a man who owned a chain of variety stores in West Texas, a man Dooley refers to as Elkins. Elkins offered to put his grandfather in the variety store business. Dooley’s 5-10 & 25 cent store eventually opened in 1923.

The merchandise has been pushed to the front of the store.

The merchandise has been pushed to the front of the store.

Photo by Gabriel Romero

“The thing I’m going to miss the most is my customers,” Dooley said before pausing for a few seconds. “I enjoy the businesses, I’ve grown with it, I’ve seen all of the changes that have gone on over time, but the most important, of course, is the customers.”

Loyal customers have been going to Dooley’s since before he was born. Dooley knows that because they have let him know on occasion. Those guest have brought their children and grandchildren and, in some cases, their great-grandchildren. He called them “generational customers.”

Old electronics and vacuums are for resale.

Old electronics and vacuums are for resale.

Photo by Gabriel Romero

He says that people from all over Texas and the country that move from Fredericksburg and still have family in the community are sure to make a quick pit stop at the store.

“My customers are disappointed, they aren’t bitter, but they are disappointed,” Dooley said. “But they do understand that I’m going to retire.”

The store went from his grandfather, to his father, and finally to him. Dooley is the oldest of his two brothers and two sisters, all of whom are retired now. He owns the business, the store’s inventory, and he owns the building with his siblings. He has two children and he never encouraged them to take over Dooley’s at any point because 25-30 years ago the business was too hard already, Dooley said.

A view from the side aisle.

A view from the side aisle.

Photo by Gabriel Romero

“This business model is not a viable business model these days. I’m closing the store primarily because of supply chain issues and if I can’t stay in my niche, which it’s a very small, small window. I don’t want to be $1 store. I can’t compete against Walmart,” Dooley said. “If I can’t get the goods that I need, at what I consider to be reasonable prices, my consumers are not going to pay me what it’s going to take these days to get the goods.”

He has been an active member of Fredericksburg, previously serving as a city council member for 16 years, and is now a part of the planning and zoning commission. Dooley wants to continue to serve the community anyway he can.

“We have always tried to support the community,” he added.

Almost 100 years at this location.

Almost 100 years at this location.

Photo by Gabriel Romero

After 99 years of business, when the doors finally shut, Dooley said it will be an emotional moment, even though it’s already been emotional since his announcement.

“I guess probably at least every other day, I get assaulted by a customer that’s been here forever. ‘We’re disappointed in you and we just don’t want to see you go. You can’t close the store,”‘ Dooley said. “But then when it gets right down to it, I think they all understand.”

Dooley says it’s heartwarming to know that his family has done something that makes other people feel good and he is ready to retire.

“Nothing can last forever,” he said.

Shelves are already being taken down and set up for when the store closes on June 30.

Shelves are already being taken down and set up for when the store closes on June 30.

Photo by Gabriel Romero

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