Tilba Bakery owners Alfeo and Jane Facchetti closed up shop Thursday after more than 21 years of trading.
Alfie, as he is known, and wife Jane are taking a well-deserved break and are hoping someone will step in and buy the business so that it can continue operating as a bakery.
The community of Tilba including friends and fellow business owners held a surprise farewell party outside the bakery on Thursday evening.
Trevor King was among those congratulating the Alfie and Jane, acknowledging both their support of the fundraising efforts to renovate the Tilba halls as well as their friendly business nature.
“Everyone knows when tourists come to a town, it’s their experiences that they take away with them,” Mr King said. “There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Tilba Bakery has added immeasurably to the experiences that they have.”
The Facchettis posted on their Facebook page two photos to celebrate the end of an area.
The first photo was taken on December, 25 1994, two days after they opened, with daughter Georgina aged 2 years, along with Alfie's parents.
The second photo was taken on January 3 this year, a bit over 21 years later, with Georgie age 23, and less than 12 months before finishing her Medical Degree at the University of Newcastle.
Georgie had been chief shop assistant over many busy summer seasons, and on occasion assistant pastry cook.
Also in the photo is son Nick, aged 19, who has been chief pastry cook over many busy summer seasons, and who is now one year into a mechanical engineering degree.
“Thanks kids you have both been fantastic, we couldn't have continued this long without you, you know all about hard work and persistence, we are really proud of you both,” mum wrote.
“Also many thanks to lots of staff who have helped us run the bakery over the last 21 years, and also to our parents who looked after our two young kids over many busy school holidays. Thanks also to dad who believed in us and lent us the funds to build and fit out a purpose built bakery. It wouldn't have happened without you.”
Alfie needs an operation on his hand, but they are not planning on going anywhere and will still be living in their home located behind the bakery building.
They are hopeful that the business, which is currently on the market, will be sold to someone who will continue to operate it as a bakery.
“That would be nice as we built it up to what it is today and I would like it to stay as a bakery,” he said.
They built Tilba Bakery from scratch back in 1994 in heritage style, and later added a larger storeroom, outside seating area and second shop.
The Facchettis moved to Tilba from Thredbo where Alfie was a chef, and he also worked as a chef at various restaurants in Bermagui and Narooma before starting the business.
He also worked with Barry and Carol Mead at the ABC Bakery in Narooma and he credited Barry, who passed away recently, for giving him a real taste of baking.