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New owners to take helm at Prairie Decorating

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe John and Tammy Roos (left) are the new owners of Prairie Decorating, formerly owned by Paul and Lois Woll.

WORTHINGTON -- After 38 years in business, Paul and Lois Woll will pass the torch on to the new owners of Prairie Decorating in downtown Worthington on Wednesday. For new owners John and Tammy Roos of Worthington, the day already has special meaning -- it is their 20th wedding anniversary.

For the past month, John Roos has been an apprentice of sorts at Prairie Decorating, learning the ropes from the Wolls, who are looking forward to retirement.

Though the name will remain the same and the quality paints, stains and wallpapers will still be offered, Roos said they will eventually incorporate some of their own personal touches in the store -- from a reorganization of products to an expansion of window coverings.

"People should come in and take a look around, and see how we've changed it in the next six months," he added.

The Rooses have been long-time customers of Prairie Decorating, having remodeled three homes in the last two decades.

"We've worked with Paul and Lois ... over the years on just about everything," Roos said. "We want to maintain the same service Paul and Lois had."

As true do-it-yourselfers, the Rooses have gained experience in painting, wallpapering and refinishing hardwood floors.

"There's a lot of experience in trial and error," Roos said. "Tammy has a real knack for design and color coordinating."

Tammy is also the premier wallpaper installer in the family, he said, adding "We actually make a pretty good team."

Roos previously served as Chief Information Officer at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington. His wife will work at Prairie Decorating part-time, in addition to her full-time job at Minnesota Energy Resources.

The couple has two daughters, Madeline, 16, and Emma, 15, who will also work in the shop on a part-time basis.

"We're excited," said Roos. "I had a customer say I had big shoes to fill. Well, I'm not going to fill them right away, but at least let me grow into them."

Under the new ownership, Prairie Decorating will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Also, the Rooses plan to remain open until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays once they officially take ownership later this week.

Customers who have ongoing projects with the Wolls can be assured they will still get their decorating needs met. Roos said the extensive recordkeeping done by the couple pertaining to paints and stains customers have purchased over the years will remain intact under the new ownership.

"Customer service is going to be our prime objective," he added.

Paul Woll said they haven't made big plans for their retirement. They have some jobs to do around the house, and are hoping to have more time to travel to visit family. They have five children and 10 grandchildren.

"(With the business), we haven't been able to get around as much as we'd like," Paul said.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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