Purple Plum to close after 23 years on Fourth Street


HUNTINGBURG — After calling Fourth Street home for more than 23 years, The Purple Plum will close.

Store owner Mary Uebelhor says “it was just time.”

She and her husband, Mike, have a 14-year-old son, Mick, who is getting more involved in activities, and the couple would like to spend more time with their grandchildren. They also operate the Dubois County Bombers, which takes much of their time.

“It’s just life changes,” Mary said. “You get to that time and everything shifts.”

She said The Purple Plum has evolved since she first opened the store in 1995. It’s known for selling one-of-a-kind gifts, jewelry and art.

“I’ve always tried to make it artful,” Mary said. “I started out with a lot of contemporary art and working with individual artists. I’ve continued with that, but added to it since then.”

She added that when she moved the store to its current location at 417 E. Fourth St. — the first store was located across the street — it took the place of Bittersweet and Giggleswick when they closed.

“Giggleswick had kids’ toys and cards and I took that over simply because I thought Huntingburg still needed that represented,” Mary said. “So that kind of changed. That was new to me.”

She will miss the people most — the artists, customers and fellow business owners on Fourth Street.

“I appreciate the friendships that I’ve made with the creative people in the area and outside of the area who have had their work at The Plum,” Mary said. “Many of them have become good friends of mine, and certainly, I appreciate all the customers who have been good to The Plum over the course of the years. And all of those who have helped me at The Plum.”

While the construction currently underway to redesign Fourth Street has been a challenge as a downtown business owner, Mary said it has nothing to do with why her store is closing.

She has already found new owners for the building and is excited about the future of downtown Huntingburg. She encourages the public to continue supporting downtown and its businesses.

“I’m looking forward to the new look and I’m convinced that it’s going to come back very vibrant and fun,” Mary said. “It’s just time for somebody else’s vision to shine on Fourth Street and for me to do other things.”

Mary has not set a date for when The Purple Plum will close.

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