The History of Pritzl's Trading Post
“We operate a one stop shop store. If we don’t have it, you don’t need it!” Dolores Pritzl was quoted in a 1977 newspaper article celebrating the first year anniversary of what is known today as the iconic Pritzl’s Trading Post. Though founders Dolores and Norman Pritzl no longer run this well-known Town of Rome business, their daughter Lori Pritzl-O’Keefe carries on her parents’ original business model. She continues to grow the business, which is a “must-stop” for visitors as well as Rome residents.
In February 1976, Dolores and Norman Pritzl purchased a small building at the intersection of Highway 13 and County Road D. Originally constructed as a machine shop and small engine repair business, the unassuming, 800 square foot cement structure had historic roots - one of the original three buildings first constructed in the Town of Rome. The Pritzl’s appropriately named their business, “Pritzl’s Corner Mart,” quickly grew, and catered to meet the needs of their valued, regular customers. The Town welcomed a niche that many residents were looking for - a central shopping center equipped with all of the essentials.
Throughout the years, the Pritzl’s stayed true to their mission and continued to grow their line of goods and services. In 1984, the business added an additional 2,200 square feet to offer a meat market and bakery. In 2002, Lori Pritzl-O’Keefe became the sole owner of Pritzl’s Corner Market purchasing the store from her parents and still remains the sole owner of the family business. In 2006, the store underwent a complete remodel, almost doubled in space, and changed names to the familiar “Pritzl’s Trading Post.” Now offering 17,000 square feet of convenience shopping, owner Lori Pritzl-O’Keefe remains true to the store’s original mission. “We provide customers a full range of quality products and services which they need in their daily lives. We are conveniently located and offer competitive, affordable prices,” shares Lori.
Pritzl’s Trading Post strives to account for everything - saving locals and visitors the hassle of driving to another Town to shop for essentials. In addition to the gasoline and fuel pumps out front, the business features local produce, meat department, full deli case, fresh bakery, hot coffee, service counter (post service station, licenses, and permits), walk-in beer cave, hand scooped ice cream, and all the fishing and hunting essentials one might need. Pat Trick, a regular customer and Rome resident, adequately summed it up, “The store has a mystique. You can buy your bait and steak at the same store!”
An essential component of Lori Pritzl-O’Keefe’s success is her rapport with her employees. Her focus is to continuously build a culture within the work environment where employees enjoy coming to work. Seeing familiar, smiling faces behind the counter is one of the reasons visitors and locals consistently return on a weekly or, in some cases, daily basis. “With the support of my valued team, we will continue our growth, by providing the many products and services our customers and community want in a distinctive environment they continue to call their own.”
For visitors, their vacation to the Town of Rome is not complete without a “Pritzl’s run.” The one-stop shop saves local residents a trip to a surrounding Town for groceries, fuel, or other necessities. Everyone loves Pritzl’s. If you haven’t visited this legendary family-owned business, it’s a definite must stop on your next trip to the Town of Rome!
Pritzl’s Trading Post | 715.325.2281 | 251 State Road 13, Nekoosa, WI 54457 | http://pritzlstradingpost.com/
- Cameryn Kwaterski, Executive Director, Visit Rome, WI, Inc.
[ All photography captured by Jeffrey Bertch of Links & Landscape Photography ]