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Bittersweet surrender | Louisville dessert store closes doors after decades of business

Sweet Surrender owner Jessica Haskell said the challenges from inflation, the pandemic and the labor market are the reasons for the shutdown.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One of Louisville’s favorite sweet shops has closed its doors for good.

Saturday marked the bittersweet surrender for "Sweet Surrender." 

It came weeks after a Facebook post, written by the owner of Sweet Surrender Dessert Café, talked about the bitter-sweet decision to close the bakery’s 35-year chapter.

Owner Jessica Haskell said the challenges from inflation, the pandemic and the labor market are the reasons for the shutdown.

"For us, the prices of our ingredients are really gone up in a way that's hard to transfer on to our customers. We didn't want to have to do that. And with labor shortages as well. It's made it very difficult for the business," Haskell said in the Facebook post said.

Hundreds of customers turned up in Sweet Surrender's final week, proving the bakery's longevity came from more than just its baked goods.

"Yeah, that's right. It was very fun for us to do together," regular-customer Rachel Porter said.

Rachel and her father, Mike Porter, said they've made more than a dozen stops at Sweet Surrender over the last several years, adding its a bonding experience for them.

"To find out this here is kind of our last chance, it's kind of an emotional time," Mike Porter said.

Not only did customers feel that way but staff too.

Credit: WHAS-TV

"It's bitter sweet. No pun intended," kitchen manager Mariam Beloff said. "People have been sharing testimonies of their weddings, of graduation cakes, baby showers, birthdays--it's just so much love, in my opinion."

"The love that people have pulled out and all that people that have showed up, it just blows my mind," Haskell said. "We've had two-and three hour waits the past couple days."

When it's all said and done, Haskell hopes customers will look back on Sweet Surrender and think about all the celebrations they've had. 

"Our cakes were apart of those celebrations. That's what has always meant the most to me, is being there for peoples' milestone events," she said.

While the bakery is closed for now, management and owners have hinted at future pop-ups, and asked customers to continue following the business on Facebook.

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