A Wallingford café has announced that it will be closing its doors this week after seven years of trading in the town centre.

Ribizli Café, in St Mary’s Street, took to social media last week to share news of the imminent closure, confirming its last day of trading would be this Saturday (December 23).

Heartfelt thanks were also expressed to all those that had supported the business since it first opened in 2016 as a vegan and vegetarian catering destination.

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Co-owners Viki and Andy Arthur said: “After taking over from the previous owners two and a half years ago, unfortunately we have to say goodbye for personal reasons.

“After being in South Africa, we came back in pursuit of a new entrepreneurial venture in June 2021, and bought the business from the previous owners who we knew well, adopting a new name.

“We’ve received an outpouring of love, with messages of support, shock and best wishes for the future.

"The things we will miss the most are meeting and speaking with so many wonderful customers, making friends and sharing healthy food, recipes and treats which are renowned for being different and of good quality such as wraps, soups, cakes, curries and salads.

Oxford Mail: The team at Ribzil Cafe The team at Ribzil Cafe (Image: Ribizli Café)

“Although we have nothing special planned for our last day, we’re expecting to be really busy so we’re encouraging everyone to come on down and enjoy everything we have to offer.

“All we can say is just a huge thank you to everyone since we started in June 2021.

"Coming out of Covid it’s been difficult, but we really do appreciate our customers. We truly will miss them so much.”

All is not lost for customers however, as Ms Arthur confirmed that she is open to baking and creating vegan produce for those with direct orders who get in contact via email in addition to the couple’s new venture.

Following the announcement that Village Fabrics, a shop that has served Wallingford residents for over 40 years, will close early in the new year, Ribizli is the second Wallingford business to say farewell to the town in under three weeks.

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Dr Pete Sudbury, county councillor for Wallingford and deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Trading conditions are hard as we have an unprecedented cost of living squeeze. We’re seeing high inflation and wages not rising to match this.

“Unfortunately, people are having to cut back and prioritise. My wife works at Wallingford foodbank and they’re seeing high numbers, which is a result of continued austerity.

Oxford Mail: The cafe is known for its vegan and vegetarian dishes The cafe is known for its vegan and vegetarian dishes (Image: Ribizli Cafe)

"A friend of mine runs a bar and says he’s noted how people now ask the price of everything before buying and then deliberating on this.

“This squeeze is more maligned than it looks. I fear there is more to come in this economy, and it’s so sad seeing businesses close down that people have put their lives into.

"What we need is a government that actually cares about small, local businesses and taxes the rich properly.”