Schimpff's Confectionery on Jeffersonville's Floodwall Mural
Artist: Molly Gruninger
Location: 139 Southern Indiana Ave. Jeffersonville, Indiana 

“The Story Behind the Mural” is an ongoing series that provides a behind-the-scenes dive into some of SoIN’s well known (and lesser known) public art pieces.

There’s an undeniable magic that radiates through Jeffersonville’s Schimpff’s Confectionery, which lays claim to being one of the oldest candy shops in the United States. Located in the same Spring Street Building since 1891, Schimpff’s has stayed true to its roots throughout the years, selling vintage-leaning, freshly-made treats in a nostalgic atmosphere.  

All of that is perfectly captured in Molly Gruninger’s mural on the Jeffersonville floodwall that pays tribute to Schimpff’s.  

Gruninger, who is a native of the area, said that the store holds a fond memory from when she was young.

“A place that I always remembered from childhood was Schimpff’s,” she said. “I knew it was a very unique place. It was a big draw in the area. The owners were very charming and wonderful.”

Flood Wall Mural Schimpff's

The floodwall in Jeffersonville features numerous side-by-side murals by various artists that all pay tribute to the history of Southern Indiana. Gruninger found out about the mural program through her former art teacher. She was fresh out of college and decided to make a pitch to the program. When choosing what she wanted to pay homage to, Gruninger highlighted Schimpff’s because she always thought of the business as iconic to the city.

“It was always just a really colorful, lively place,” Gruninger said. “It has a lot of charm to it. It always stuck out in my mind as something unique to Jeffersonville. And I always loved their toffees.”

Once her idea was accepted, Gruninger got in touch with the Schimpff family to start her research. She stopped into the store to take photos and interview them, gaining the insight and imagery to start painting. 

The whole mural project took about three months and was completed in the fall of 2011. Being her first mural, Gruninger said she wanted to take things slowly, especially because she often found herself working on 40-degree days.

Flood Wall Mural Schimpff's

Looking back on the project, one thing that she fondly remembers is something idiosyncratic that the Schimpff family requested. 

“They wanted one specific detail included in the mural,” Gruninger said. “There’s a painting that hangs in Schimpff’s that’s been in their family for generations. It’s of a man whose face is made out of fruit. They call him Fruit Man. And they just really, really wanted that in the mural. And I just remember the day that they came by when I was painting, and they saw that, and they were so excited that it was included.”

Having the family involved and capturing their story was extremely meaningful for Gruninger.

“That was a very fun thing, to see their family legacy get depicted on the wall, and see them experience that,” she continued.

Flood Wall Murals

Discover Jeffersonville's Floodwall Mural and more of SoIN’s public art scene when you sign up for Inspired SoIN, a free digital passport introducing you to art pieces located throughout Clark and Floyd counties in Southern Indiana. Visit our passports page to sign up today!

Check out more SoIN murals and the story behind them: