The economic recession of 2009 devestated many small businesses throughout the county including Prairie House. Customers weren’t able to spend the money they once could. To add to the financial burden of declining sales, Shirley had recently moved from Belle Plaine to Gaylord and was paying a double mortgage. During these hard times, Shirley became familiar with LuAnn Vanderwerf. Shirley kept RNDC updated on the status of her finances, and LuAnn worked with her to reduce and defer payments to keep enough cash flow to succeed in the slow economy. LuAnn says that she developed a deep respect for Shirley because of her openness during the process. Shirley was happy that she could work so closely with the RNDC and keep her restaurant open during such a difficult time.
Today Shirley and David are proud to be the successful owners of Prairie House, whose doors have been open for 11 years. They have 25 employees, offer a full menu, run a catering service and feed 125 seniors a day through their Meals on Wheels delivery service. They are thankful for the support of the local community.
“Shirley’s done a nice job here. Prairie House is a real asset for our town because it is a consistent place for people to come. You always know you can get breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
– Richard Hebeisen, a regular at Prairie House for many years.