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COVER STORY | Moving Forward: Jacqueline Barr


GENEVA/SUGAR GROVE–Jacqueline, her sister Nikki, and their mom Mary own Cafe & Barr and Love Theory Bridal Shop in Geneva. The café, which opened in June 2019, was Jacqueline’s dream and the impact of COVID-19 hit them hard.

“Being a new business and just starting to get into things it was truly out of left field,” she says. “We quickly scrambled to get stuff going, utilizing our neighbors, and trying to stay afloat with gift baskets, and to go orders; however, we are more of an experience place, hosting live music and events, so when you take the main squeeze out of the equation, it was very hard to stay where we needed to be.”

Jacqueline constantly planned and brainstormed ideas with her mom, sister and closest merchants like Lynne Ball from Liz & Kate, and Paula Krampf from the Geneva Library, to plan collaborations or deals and also used social media to share fun and exciting ideas with the community.

Personally, Jacqueline used meditation and healthy eating to help balance her emotions to keep her from thinking negative thoughts. She is kind and compassionate and tends to think of others before herself, but through this journey she has realized you can’t pour from an empty cup, so she is making a conscious effort to practice self-care.

This past year has also taught Jacqueline to never lose the hustle.

“I don't ever want to become stagnant or disconnected from my business,” she shares. “We will always be looking for cool new things and evolve to match what our customers wants and needs are. We like finding cute little things that when make you smile when you see them, if even for a second. We want you to always be able to discover something new about us and about yourself while you are here.”

With new colors, healthier options, and grab & go foods, Jacqueline hopes to make Café & Barr an open space for the community to feel safe and free– to be themselves while bringing neighborly businesses together. She also helps run a group called Experience Geneva, IL that hosts events and does the First Fridays in Geneva, IL.

Bringing people together and sharing in the joys of family is what keeps her going day in and day out.

-Kristen Kucharski, Photo by Mike Catuara




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