Eden deli owner Betty Buckland heads into retirement after 40 years

Life reflected: Betty Buckland has been serving Eden's coffee and speciality food needs for almost 40 years. Photo: Rachel Mounsey
Life reflected: Betty Buckland has been serving Eden's coffee and speciality food needs for almost 40 years. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

Betty Buckland describes the moment she took over Roswitha's Delicatessen 40 years ago as a "spur of the moment decision."

A decision that would open her up to languages, food and the lives of Eden's ever-changing demographic.

The previous owner, a Dutch-German woman by the name of Roslyn Witha, specialised in "Euro food" which meant Ms Buckland inherited the delicatessen's much sought-after home-made European sausages, cheeses, sauerkraut and imported Dutch liquorice.

"You had the German who baked the bread, the Russian who made the sausages and the Swiss who made the cheese. The shop was and still is a reflection of Eden's changing demographic."

Ms Buckland recalls a period in time when she even learnt to speak fragments of German.

"There was a point when I could understand the German housewives, but only when they were gossiping about food," she laughs.

"Sadly my German faded away along with them."


As soon as she bought the delicatessen she swiftly moved in tables and chairs, converting the deli into Imlay St's most iconic smoko joint, catering for Eden's workers and alongside what Betty calls the "Euro housewives".

"I always had a mix of customers and many funny moments too, I remember one bloke asking if we had ferret for breakfast. I never knew what was coming next."

Ms Buckland credits all her "reliable" staff over the years whom she says have also been a reflection of Eden's hospitable and hardworking community.

"My workers have all been wonderful people who could turn their hand to anything. Even the local kids. If they didn't know how to sweep they soon learnt," she laughs before recounting a story of a local girl - an "after school kid" whose grandmother taught her to sweep floors just so she could work in Betty's shop.

After seeing the ever-changing Eden reflected through her shop windows, at closing time on Friday afternoon Ms Buckland will shut up shop one last time.

The new owner assures us some things won't ever change, including the jars of Dutch liquorice.

Customers are encouraged to visit Roswitha's Delicatessen for morning tea with Betty from 10am Friday morning.

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