Fitzbillies, the 90-year-old Cambridge institution, has fallen victim to the hostile economic climate and will no longer be trading after having been forced into administration.

Last weekend, visitors to the world-famous cake shop on Trumpington Street were greeted not with the sweet aroma of Chelsea buns and pain-au-chocolats, but simply a typed sign in the window reading, “We are closed.”

Not the yeast of their worries: Fitzbillies goes under

Shop owner, Penny Thompson, confirmed the loss: “Our closure is a result of the very difficult economic times, especially for independent businesses.”

Pembroke College, who own the building, told Varsity, “The College is sorry to see the closure of Fitzbillies. It had supported efforts by the proprietor to overcome trading difficulties, including a voluntary arrangement agreed with creditors last year. Unfortunately, these efforts ultimately proved unsuccessful.”

Widespread vehement reactions to the closure of Fitzbillies have already become apparent.  A ‘SAVE FITZBILLIES’ Facebook campaign has gathered the support of over 500 members, while famous alumnus Stephen Fry tweeted yesterday, “No! No! Say it ain’t so - not Fitzbillies? Why I tweeted a pic off one of their peerless Chelsea buns but a sixmonth ago [sic]”.

Gregory Warner, ex-Cambridge student told Varsity, “The news is particularly distressing since I’d been really pleased to see that Fitzbillies was still there when my son started at Cambridge, 30 years since I was a regular! It was one of the last quintessentially British institutions left in the town and I’m really upset to see it go.”

The bakery has only ever had three subsequent owners who have each safeguarded the business’s secret recipes to protect the uniqueness of its delicious delights.

One Pembroke student could not share in the collective nostalgia. “People have no right to get sentimental - if they love Fitzbillies so much why didn’t it make more money? I mean seriously, who actually ever went?”

It is rumoured that the last of Fitzbillies’ famous  chelsea buns will be auctioned on eBay.

In a Varsity exclusive, Penny from Fitzbillies explained the reasons behind the closure:

 Yes, Fitzbillies is SO popular and loved.  BUT, we had to sell an awful lot
of buns and cakes every day to make ends meet.  Rents and rates in Cambridge
city centre are similar to Oxford Street.  

As there were more and more chains coming into Cambridge, customers came to expect the same kind of discounted prices as the supermarkets could afford to offer. It's all very understandable, but the public has to realise that if they
want shops like Fitzbillies they have to frequent them, not just call in
every once in a while.  One stop shopping is not independent-friendly. 

It is my fervent hope that a new proprietor will be found who will maintain
what Fitzbillies has been famous for since 1922, and who will add his own
particular passion to it.   I am sure the landlord also wants this.   So,
all the best to whoever it may be. I personally will miss Fitzbillies and
all our wonderful customers, and especially the undergraduates who gave us
such a boost and were so refreshingly unconcerned about calories!