October 4, 2022 at 4:09 p.m.
Pam Rue loves helping people, whether it is finding a baby gift, a book for a child to read or the perfect sweatshirt to wear on fall days.
Since June 8, she has been doing so at Décor & More, in the True North Marketplace building in Melrose. This Freeport native originally opened the business in Freeport in 2013.
Rue is a believer that things happen for a reason, including her business move to Melrose. She works part-time in the restaurant portion of True North and manages the retail items at this business. In January owner Steve Danzl approached her about “the big picture” of the business utilizing the west side of the building for retail.
“I thought why not. I love what I do, helping people find things,” she said. “This got me into a bigger scale with more interaction with people.”
Rue smiles when asked if she ever thought she would own a business in and close to her hometown. But, things fell into place.
After graduating from Melrose High School in 1998, she attended college in Moorhead, married husband Dustin, and were raising two children, Logan, now 15, and Molly, 13.
“When I first left (Freeport) I was excited to get out into the world of theatre, but ultimately, I knew that wouldn’t be long-term,” she said. “When I had kids that mentality changed.”
She loved working 11 years in a retail bookstore but dreamed of one day owning her own retail shop.
The spring of 2013 it hit her that, “I liked what I was doing but I wasn’t in love with what I was doing.” She thought if she did not make a change now, she might regret it. That’s when “God’s plan,” occurred after the owner of a Freeport building, Michelle Schulzetenberg, called and said the lady who was renting part of her building was leaving. Dustin inquired if he could work from home, they sold their house in three days, and Rue was on her way to fulfilling her dream of owning a retail store. But there was another reason for moving back to her roots.
“We wanted to get closer to both of our families, and Logan had just finished kindergarten before transitioning here,” said Rue, the daughter of Melvin and Karen Goebel, of Freeport.
Dustin’s parents, Ron and Phyllis Radke, lived in Tracy.
“I grew up with my grandparents within five minutes and many cousins close by, and I wanted my kids to have the opportunity to be closer to their cousins, aunts and uncles.”
In August of 2013 she opened Décor and More from Rues Truly, a play on her last name, for her gift basket business offshoot.
“I didn’t have a lot of space but I had a lot of variety,” she said.
Rue enjoyed the opportunity to offer retail items, and promotions like “Make Someone’s Day in May,” to people in her hometown and those passing through.
“The interaction with customers was a lot of fun,” she said.
Turning in her keys to the Freeport store in April felt like the end of an era.
“Freeport is where I envisioned it to be, and coming to Melrose was like the next chapter, and I just turned the page,” she said.
Having more room to display items has been a bonus. The variety of customers she continues to meet is a plus.
“I get more travelers coming through the area that are eating at the restaurant and come in,” she said.
Rue fondly recalls a young visitor at her store.
“A sweet boy goes to his mom and said, ‘This is the best store in the whole world because they have stuff for people my size,’” she said. “That warmed my heart. That’s what I want, something for everyone.”
Her goal is to offer products in the community that keep people shopping locally.
“I love the idea of buying from people you know and supporting the community you are in,” she said. “As a local business, the only way a business can grow is if those businesses are supported.”
“It comes full circle,” said Rue, who lives in Melrose with her family.
When asked what unique items she showcases, she smiles saying, “a lot of baby stuff and books.” She even has a children’s table and chairs for youth to sit and read in a book nook area. Fall items are displayed, and she is anxious to showcase Thanksgiving and Christmas décor as the holidays approach. Many products are Minnesota-made.
“That was our goal when we opened the marketplace at True North,” she said.
Décor and More is open six days a week.
“Just me,” is her answer when asked if she has any staff. But that is OK because she “loves being around people.”
She is grateful for her support team, including family and friends, not only with the move but pitching in at the store.
Rue is ready to keep turning the pages in this chapter of Décor & More.