Popular eatery closes after 41 years’ trade

Last day of trading for Sweet Vienna. Pictured (from left) Kirsty Owen, owners Liz Hrubesch and Walter Hrubesch, (back, from left) members of staff Gail Shaw, Tanisha Giglio, Chloe Binns, Angela Goodacre, and Helen Sellers.
Last day of trading for Sweet Vienna. Pictured (from left) Kirsty Owen, owners Liz Hrubesch and Walter Hrubesch, (back, from left) members of staff Gail Shaw, Tanisha Giglio, Chloe Binns, Angela Goodacre, and Helen Sellers.

After more than four decades in business, a popular bakery, coffee shop and restaurant in Sleaford has closed its doors for the final time.

Sweet Vienna, part of the Riverside Shopping Centre, off Southgate, had its last day of trading on Saturday, with owners Walter and Liz Hrubesch entering retirement.

The husband-and-wife team, who live in Sleaford, opened the business in 1975, when they were aged in their late 20s.

Its name was inspired by the country of Walter’s origin – Austria.

The couple, who met in London’s Hyde Park in 1967, had already been running a bakery in London.

They came to Sleaford after seeing an advert in a trade magazine for a unit at the Riverside Shopping Centre, which at that time was still under construction.

“We just wanted to do something different,” said Liz, 68. “We thought ‘why not?’. You do those things when you are young.”

Liz remembers being immediately struck by Sleaford on visiting the town for the first time.

“I loved it,” she said, remembering that, as they drove into the town, she said ‘this is the place for us’.

“I thought it was wonderful,” she added.

Part of the attraction for Liz, who hailed from London, was the relatively light amount of traffic, but also the welcoming people.

She said: “The people were friendly. People helped us when we were starting up the business. Everyone was so lovely.

“It was such a friendly place and still is,” she continued. “We have made so many friends. It’s been lovely.”

Speaking to the Standard last week ahead of the final day of trading (during which Walter was still getting up at 2.30am to bake items for the shop), Liz thanked the customers and staff members who have supported them over the years, adding: “It will be sad to close, but we are looking forward to our retirement.”