Geneseo's Four Seasons and Pegasus to celebrate anniversaries

Claudia Loucks
George Kutsunis and his daughter, Katie Kutsunis, invite area residents to join them at the Friday, June 10, anniversary celebrations of Four Seasons and Pegasus

Two significant businesses in downtown Geneseo will be marking milestone anniversaries.

On Friday, June 10, Four Seasons and Pegasus will celebrate their anniversaries with indoor and outdoor shopping specials. There will be a huge tent sale at Four Seasons with more than 60 door prizes awarded in addition to 60 percent off on select items.

Pegasus will award more than 30 door prizes and will offer 30 percent off sales for items. Coffee bar drinks will be offered at “buy one, get one free.

The journey of retail business in Geneseo for the Kutsunis family can be traced to George Kutsunis’ father, who owned and operated The Leader Store in downtown Geneseo for many years.

When George Kutsunis graduated from Augustana College in 1962, he opened his first store, Merry-Go-Round at 104 South State St. in downtown Geneseo, in a building owned by his mother. He convinced her to let him open the store and he would pay rent.

In the beginning, Kutsunis specialized in children’s clothes, but quickly switched to juniors and ladies fashions.

He commented, “On the first day we were open, no one walked into the store for the first two hours, I was so scared that I had made a terrible mistake!”

Clearly, he had not made a mistake! Now, in 2022, sixty years later, Four Seasons is a thriving small regional chain of six stores in Illinois and Iowa.

In Geneseo, his stores became well-known destinations when he hired his first spokesperson, “Sophie.” The iconic “Tell ‘em Sophie sent you” drove traffic and created a huge draw to downtown Geneseo. It was during those years when Kutsunis expanded his Geneseo stores to include Elite Petites and Leading Lady, specializing in both petite and plus size fashions.

Kutsunis’ wife, the late Linda Kutsunis, was not going to just sit by and watch her husband have all the success. She opened Pegasus Fine Gifts in April, 1992, The store showcases homemade fudge, gourmet foods, collectibles, kitchen gadgets, candles and a complete Hallmark Gold Crown selection.

Linda Kutsunis loved attending gift shows and she traveled to Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago in search of unique and special gifts for the Geneseo store.

The homemade fudge which is made with fresh cream and butter is one of the most popular items for shoppers at Pegasus, and the tasty treat is available in many flavors, including chocolate with sea salt and caramel, chocolate-cheesecake, peanut butter and many more.

The Kutsunis’ daughter, Katie, joined the business in 1992 and has taken it to the next level.

Her passion for retail in both apparel and gifts has allowed the stores to grow and prosper under her leadership.

She reflected on the last 30 years of her involvement with the businesses and said, “Retail was fun before the pandemic. But, the pandemic has been the greatest challenge in my career. There were times I was not sure we would make it to sixty years (Four Seasons) or 30 years (Pegasus). I re-invented every level of the business, made changes and upped our social media game. Today, we are stronger than we have ever been. It just goes to show with the right amount of grit and determination; retailers can be successful in challenging times.”

Visit Four Seasons and Pegasus on Friday, June 10, to celebrate these big anniversary milestones.