Children's laughter mingles with the clink of coffee spoons on saucers. The smells of summer and freshly baked pastries waft through the air. BÄCKEREI SCHWARZ is the centre and meeting place on Auhofstraße. There’s always something going on here: people have breakfast, chat and laugh in the shade of trees planted in the bakery’s garden. Frequently, Hietzing residents stop for a short while on their way back from shopping to exchange a few words and the news underneath the yellow umbrellas in front of the bakery. “Sorry, I hope I wasn’t pushing in there” – asks an elderly lady. Frau Martina shakes her head. She’s worked here for twelve years, and she knows all her regular customers by their name, favourite drink and most frequent purchase. “Our customers want personal contact, they set great store by it and that’s why they come to us”, the shop assistant explains as she pops two bread rolls into a typically yellow paper bag. Bäckerei Schwarz is a family-run business, the main branch first opened on Auhofstraße over 100 years ago. Gertraud Maurer took over the business as an 18-year-old from her father, who passed away at an early age. Her children now also work in a managerial capacity at the bakery. In general, the store is always open – the oven only remains cold on the two Christmas bank holidays. “And even then some of the customers complain,” grins Frau Martina. “Because they know: the Schwarz is always there for me.” That’s why business booms best on Sundays – many customers only come in for one or two bread rolls or a litre of milk, and of course for a chat. In this regard Bäckerei Schwarz also offers the basic essentials of food, ice cream, little chocolate umbrellas and even wedding cakes. “Good morning, Frau Maria”, the shop assistant briefly calls out towards the door. In earlier days the bakery was actually in the basement, says Frau Martina, but the space there became far too small seven years ago, so the bakery had to move to new premises. “We’ve never been interested in offering some run-of-the-mill, anonymous service”, is how she explains the recipe for over 100 years of success. The bakery knows the value of its regular customers. And so it also encourages activities in the neighbourhood. There’s a children’s bakery during the summer holidays and people also gather to bake together at the Grätzelfest – the neighbourhood fete.