Katie Wood often jokes that she doesn't go to work. Instead she says she "goes to play."

Katie Wood often jokes that she doesn't go to work. Instead she says she "goes to play." As manager of the independently owned Toyville in Old Worthington, she spends her days surrounded by toys and kids.

"It's a natural fit," she said.

The shop attracts serious buyers and browsers who are out exploring the historic shopping district. Many want to know more about the building, where an exposed ceiling shows original beams, she said.

The store is housed in the James Kilbourne Commercial Building, which was built in 1808 and is touted as the oldest commercial building on its original site, Wood said.

"It's kind of a visualization of how special our shop is," she said. "It's different and fun."

-Melissa Kossler Dutton

What makes Toyville different than a typical chain toy store?

We're wonderful with our customer service. We have high standards. We'll walk you to your car. We go above and beyond. That's complemented by our free gift wrap and assembly.

How can your small shop compete with big box stores?

We just feel that we don't really compete with the big box stores. We're just different and easier.

Are children allowed to "sample" the toys while in the store?

Yes. We have three different play tables. We have a train table. A table for toys that are WOW Toys-different vehicles geared for ages 1-1/2 to 5. We also have Calico Critters table. We have samples on every table. It's a fun place to play as well as shop.

How often does the inventory change?

We feel like we're getting new shipments every week, which is neat. It keeps us on our toes, for sure.

What kind of help can people expect when choosing a gift?

That's one of our favorite things. We love when people come in and say they are looking for something for a 3-year-old boy. We learn about the child and see what he or she would like. It's a lot of fun.

Does the shop cater to a particular age range?

Not really. We have lots of great gifts for baby showers and things for grandparents shopping for themselves-puzzles and games. We like to say we have something for everyone.