Muellers part Parkdale emporium

PARKDALE — What won’t you find at Parkdale Plain and Fancy?

You’ll find glassware, records, and furniture at the venerable store in the center of town.

There’s toys, jewelry, books, and clothes.

Tools, musical instruments, and historic photos.

And plenty more.

But you won’t find owners Dick and Lennie Mueller.

Not after today.

The founders of Plain and Fancy are retiring, 18 years after transforming the former drugstore and cafe into the Upper Valley’s well-known two-story haven of old stuff and new finds.

Cherie Kelley Anderson of Hood River is leasing the business. She plans to keep the definitive name and do little to change Plain and Fancy.

“I like the name. Everyone knows it,” said Anderson, who also owns The Second Hand Sheik’s Boutique in White Salmon. She is former manager of the old Hood River Stage store. Anderson said that over time she will add more vintage clothing to the selection.

The active Muellers will remain in the community, working for Lions, Columbia Gorge Center, Parkdale Community Center and the many other involvements they enjoy.

“I think I’ll miss it the most,” Lennie said of leaving Plain and Fancy. “I do business here for lots of things. People knew they could find me here.”

Dick admits that though they could have given up the store years ago, he has stayed in shape through the physical labor of buying, processing, cleaning, and stocking the antiques, estate sale goods, and consignment items that make up Plain and Fancy’s extensive but orderly collection.

“We started out going to yard sales, and sometimes taking everything that was left over,” Dick said. “Gradually, we went more and more to acquiring estate sale items.”

The Muellers developed a dependable source of estate sales to comprise the bulk of their merchandise. The couple said they will miss the close, 10-year working relationship they had with estate sale organizers Ivonne and John Delapine.

Anderson said she will forego accepting consignments until she gets settled in, and once she does she will be as discriminating as the Muellers have been.

“Everything’s hand-picked,” Anderson said.

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The Muellers invite the community to an open house today at the store, 4950 Baseline. “It will be an all-day party,” Lennie said.

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