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Deal sought for Mary of Puddin Hill

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The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

May 16, 2011

Deal sought for Mary of Puddin Hill

GREENVILLE — Mary of Puddin Hill, one of Greenville’s iconic businesses, may still have a future past the end of this week.

What the future holds, however, is still being decided.

Bill Harris with Welsh Harris Capital told the Herald-Banner Monday that he is trying to work a deal to keep the company operating, whether as a mail order only business or through seeking the investments necessary to pay for remodeling and upgrading Mary of Puddin Hill’s kitchen and retail operations.

“I’ll be talking to an out of state fruitcake company today,” Harris said, pointing to an inch-high stack of supportive emails the company has received since a story in Saturday’s Herald-Banner detailed plans to close the Greenville store at the end of the week.

“We can’t continue through Saturday,” Harris said.

Harris said there is always the possibility of continuing or resuming the retail operations at some point, depending on who he contacts this week and what they are able to accomplish.

“We could be out of the retail business and still be making $1 million to $4 million in revenues,” Harris said, a number which is likely to draw the interest of mail order catalog businesses. “They understand the value of a 400,000 name  mailing list.”

Even without Mary of Puddin Hill, Greenville would still be a place to buy fruitcake, as the Corsicana-based Collin Street Bakery has announced plans to build a local store.

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