Community hopes for continued tradition following sale of Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant

Community surprised by sale of Joe Huber's Family Farm and Restaurant; GoFundMe started

STARLIGHT, IN (WAVE) -A piece of southern Indiana history will face the auction block.

The family behind Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant is selling the 166-acre farm, including the restaurant, this November.

The Huber family settled in Starlight in 1843, purchasing the land where the farm is now in 1926. Fore than nine decades of farming, this was the family favorite spot for picking pumpkins. Now, it’s in its final season before being sold.

"I wasn't surprised, actually. I know, they've kind of been talking about it for a few years," said Malinda Wilder. Wilder and her family live nearby to Joe Huber's and she's spent time working at the farm in the past.

Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant is a staple spot many in the community will be sorry to say goodbye to.

Joe Huber's Family Farm and Restaurant will be put up for auction on November 17, 2018.
Joe Huber's Family Farm and Restaurant will be put up for auction on November 17, 2018. (WAVE 3 News)

"But the restaurant I will definitely miss, really good food," Wilder said.

"Not only do we have a loss of heritage in the community, we also are looking at the opportunity to incorporate a new business, we hope, into the Starlight region," said Wendy Dant Chesser, President and CEO of One Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

The decision to sell took many by surprise but the popular tourism draw could bring in a buyer that will keep the tradition alive. The auction will divide the land into 5 to 25 acre plots, that include sales of the barnyard, restaurant and farm.

“So it allows somebody, if they want a five acre tract they can bid on it with the chance of winning is also, if somebody wants to put the farm back together and buy it all together, that gives that person the same opportunity,” said Doug Harrittl, with Harritt Group Inc.

People far and wide come to Joe Huber's Family Farm and Restaurant for a day of family fun.
People far and wide come to Joe Huber's Family Farm and Restaurant for a day of family fun. (WAVE 3 News)

Harritt says he's got a number of interested buyers looking at the property.

People in the community said they're excited for change but hopeful some part of Joe Huber's tradition will live on.

"I mean, it is very sentimental for the community here. A lot of people have deep roots in Starlight, they have deep roots to the Huber family. I think there will be an overwhelming support of people coming out and bidding that will want to own this either a piece of it or put it back together and keep it," Harritt said.

"You know, my memories of picking pumpkins with my grandparents and my parents and now, being able to share that with my daughter and her grandparents is very touching and we'd love the opportunity to continue for future generations," Dant Chesser said.

“It would be nice to see someone keep it going, the restaurant at least,” Wilder said.

(WAVE 3 News)

The auction website said the family behind the popular farm is retiring. A Go Fund Me page set up by a family member said the decision to sell is far from unanimous. The post, created by Jenna Clem (Huber), is working to raise $1-million to help keep the farm in the family.

Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant will be sold at auction November 17. The auction company selling it said the family will keep the farm and restaurant open right up until the sale.

There’s been some confusion about the sale of Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant. This farm is not related to Huber’s Orchard and Winery.

The two businesses are both neighbors in Starlight, Indiana and share the same last name but the two are separate. Huber’s Orchard and Winery said they’ve had a lot of phone calls from concerned businesses and community members but they want to reassure people, they are not closing.

"We've spent a good deal of our time addressing our own customers and the community at large, letting them know we are not going anywhere. Again, we understand the confusion and just reassuring the customers that we will be here," said Lise Kruer, Huber's Orchard and Winery.

Huber’s orchard and winery has sent out a letter to businesses in the community and on social media letting people know that they will not be closing but their neighbor, Joe Huber’s, will be.

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