‘Ottawa’ No Valentine’s Day Dessert as Swiss Pastries Close Their Four Locations
When a pastry shop shuts its doors on Valentine’s Day, it’s a pretty good sign something is amiss. So it is in the case of Ottawa retailer Swiss Pastries —a fixture in Ottawa for more than 50 years.
All four of its retail shops were closed on Tuesday. At Carlingwood, the store’s shelves were still stuffed with sweets. There was no notice to explain to customers why the doors were locked.
Siegfried Heilemann, the company’s owner since the fall of the 2015, notified a landlord on Feb. 1 that Swiss Pastries wouldn’t be paying further rent.
Heilemann was not immediately available for comment.
The closure is a stunning development for Swiss Pastries, whose high-quality cakes and pastries were often onthe menu in Ottawa’s diplomatic circles.
Founded by Hans Zuberbuehler — a master chocolatier who immigrated from Switzerland — the operation grew to include a bakery and retail outlets at plazas in Carlingwood, Billings Bridge, Westboro and Star Top Road. Hans’s daughter Connie took over the company in 1995 and ran it profitably for two more decades.
Connie sold the firm in 2015 to Heilemann, who had been a manager at several Toronto area firms including Dimpflmeier Bakery and Backerhaus Veit. According to those familiar with the deal, Heilemann had intended to develop Swiss Pastries’ bakery as a source of pastries and other sweets for the Toronto market.
A search of records kept by Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy revealed Swiss Pastries had not filed for insolvency or bankruptcy as of Feb. 10.