We have been serving our neighbors in Wayne and Pike Counties in Pennsylvania
and the adjacent counties in New York since 1941; selling carpeting, hardwood flooring, ceramic tile, vinyl flooring,
paint and wallcoverings.
Gerald Pratt Sr. and wife Rachel came to
Honesdale with Gerald’s job as territory representative with the Sherwin
Williams Paint Co. Sons Gerald Jr. and John were in college so Rachel decided
it was time to fulfill a life-long ambition to open her own business. With her
husband's expertise in the paint industry to draw upon and a local need for
such a service, Rachel opened The Pratt Store selling paint and wallpaper.
That was in 1941. Then the Japanese attacked
Pearl Harbor, we went to war, and months later in 1942 Honesdale suffered a
horrendous flood. Lives were lost and businesses destroyed but Rachel persevered.
Our first location was at 940 Main Street in the
Stanton Building next to the Steve’s Diner (The Townhouse). When Gerald Jr.
came to town on leave from the army, Rachel was proud to take him next door to
the diner for lunch. At lunch Rachel introduced her son to the landlord Roy V.
Stanton of the Wayne Commercial School and his lovely daughter Ruth. Before
leaving for the war in Europe, Lt. Gerald Pratt Jr. married Ruth Stanton.
Gerald Jr. returned to Honesdale after the war.
Gerald joined his mother’s business,
bought a home, and he and Ruth started a family. The family and the business
grew. I am the third child of five. I am Jerry III.
Flooring, linoleum and rugs were added to the
paint and wall coverings products. Window treatments were also added. Rachel
retired gradually in the mid 1960’s and Gerald Jr. assumed ownership. Personal
tragedy struck the family. Gerald Jr.’s beloved wife and my mother lost her
four year battle with cancer and died in 1976.
I returned from Penn State in 1977 in an economic
downturn that resulted from the first Arab oil embargo. While searching for
employment in the forest resource industry, I responded to my father’s request
for a little help. As a young man, I discovered that there was much more to my
father than I had supposed as a teen. He taught me that business is as much
about the people you serve as about the product you sell. I discovered that
people in this community recognized and admired my father’s integrity. I showed
him how computers would soon be a valuable tool in support of our efforts. We
discovered that we made a natural team. He was patient and encouraging. I
had energy and enthusiasm.
I met my wife in the same diner where my father
and mother met. I had Friday night duty in the store and went next door for
dinner. Krina was on summer break from college and she was the kind of
friendly, high energy waitress that gets the best tips. I ate at the diner
frequently that summer. Thirty-three years later Krina is still the light of my
life. We have two wonderful sons.
We moved the store to its present location in
1984. With lots more space and off-street parking, the business thrived. We
incorporated to become Pratt’s Decorator Showcase and eventually Dad announced
he was satisfied that the store was in good hands and that he was retiring.
Today we are partnered with the leading companies
in the flooring and paint industries. It is possible to survive and even to
thrive in this age of giant retailers. The secret is to pay attention to your
customer’s needs. The same personal service that my grandmother Rachel and my
father provided is still in demand and you will find it here, not at the giant