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Wine Country Fine Furniture is located at the former Praetzels Fine Furniture

The History of Praetzel’s Fine Furniture

Praetzel’s Fine Furniture has a great history as one of the oldest furniture stores in Sonoma County. It was 1950, and the family’s Petaluma chicken business was hitting hard times when Bertha Praetzel, mother of six, placed a small ad in the Petaluma newspaper, hoping to sell a few pieces of unwanted furniture in order to make ends meet. People came in droves to see the advertised items – a double-bed box spring mattress for $6.50 and a walnut bed and large chest of drawers for $27.50.

In the ensuing months, Bertha kept advertising and eventually depleted her furniture supply in the garage. Soon her husband, Desmond, had the crafty idea of buying furniture at auctions, storing it in the chicken houses, and then reselling it. They didn’t know that this baby business would become the second oldest continuous furniture business in Sonoma County.

The Praetzel’s actual house. In 2020, the family will celebrate 150 years of ownership.

The Praetzel’s actual house. In 2020, the family will celebrate 150 years of ownership.

Still located on Bodega Highway at the spot where Bertha had that first “garage sale” and where her grandfather, a gold miner, had settled in 1870, Praetzel’s was run by her son, Paul, since 1975. In 2012, Praetzel’s was bought by a very talented ASID certified Interior Designer, Anne Alderson.

The Recent Legacy of Praetzel’s Store

Paul had great affection and a great regard for his mother. “When I was 12 or so, Mom used to take me to the San Francisco Furniture Mart. She was a fountain of knowledge about decorating, and when people needed something special, they were always asking Mom. She knew all the sources. I learned so much from her.”

Praetzel’s legacy was selling extremely durable, and attractive quality furniture, at a fair price – just as it did in those early days when it was called The Ranch Storehouse and the motto was “Quality Furniture at Country Prices.”

Paul Praetzel sharing insights about building a sofa.

Paul Praetzel – still enthusiastic about serving and helping people.

Design services was just as important to Paul as the top-quality furniture.

“A customer might come in to buy a single accessory, yet we were willing to spend considerable time – and even visit their home – in order to help them find just the right item. And whether we redecorated an entire house or helped a customer hang pictures, we didn’t charge for our services. You just can’t find that kind of personalized service except in a family business like ours.

Paul, whose enthusiasm for his work shows in his easy smile, added, “We really surprised people. We sometimes took them shopping at other stores! Most of all, we wanted them to know that furniture buying should be fun.”

The Praetzel’s Time Line:

  • Praetzel’s Fine Furniture began in 1950 by Mom and Dad Praetzel, called The Ranch Storehouse.

  • Within 3 years, Northern Californians were buzzing with talk of the new furniture found at a place that was once a busy chicken house.

  • By late 1965, when larger showrooms were added, we became the largest furniture store between the Golden Gate and Portland.

  • 1975 began the evolution to what is now known as Praetzel’s Fine Furniture, as Paul took over the business full time.

  • In 2012, Praetzel’s was purchased by professional ASID-certified Interior Designer, Anne Alderson. Anne renamed Praetzel’s Fine Furniture to Brick & Mantel, which is a full service design studio and retail home store. Please click on this link to review Anne’s services further:

  • In July 2017 Anne relocated Brick & Mantel to Napa, concentrating her work in Napa and Sonoma counties.

  • 2018 begins with a new name and new owners. Wine Country Fine Furniture is located at the former Praetzel’s Fine Furniture. Paul’s close friends Jack and Bonnie Rasmussen are the owners. Paul Praetzel will continue as a consultant to his former customer friends and the new ones who come through our doors.

Interior Decorating has always been a part of Praetzel’s, Brick & Mantel, and will be with Wine Country Fine Furniture. Feel free to ask for guidance from us or from Anne, or bring your own decorator to not only find the right furniture for your home or office, but also the perfect look.

Wine Country Fine Furniture – continuing the legend of Praetzel’s Fine Furniture as one of the most popular furniture stores in Sonoma County – is a wonderful showroom of stylish furnishings and homespun service.