WAGGA'S iconic Knights Meats and Deli will close its doors for good after serving the city for 45 years.
The store will close forever on July 20 at 4pm, says its owners James and Deanna McNaughton.
After taking ownership a decade ago, Mr McNaughton said the business has faced ongoing challenges including the tough economic climate impacting regional communities during drought.
He said the closure of the council car park opposite Knights Meats earlier this year saw an unprecedented drop in customer numbers, which the business has not been able to recover from.
The business has also suffered from rising electricity costs.
Mr McNaughton said there have been two major employee theft incidents occurring in the past two years totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, Mrs McNaughton said there was an opportunity for the Knights legacy to continue if a buyer comes forward quickly.
"We are definitely keen for someone with the means, experience and passion to take this business into the future and save the jobs of our staff," she said.
The local business was kept in the Knight family name for 35 years before the baton was passed to the McNaughton family about 10 years ago.
Michael Knight, who was the last of his name to run the business, said he was saddened by the news - even though he understands that nothing lasts forever.
Although the business is shutting its doors, Mr Knight said it has made a lasting impression that will influence the city's meat trade for many years to come.
During his time as the owner, he taught the tricks-of-the-trade to almost 30 apprentices - some of whom are still working in the city.
"While Knights Meats is coming to an end, the influence and style of butchery that it brought to Wagga continues to some extent," he said.
"Many butcher shops in the city are operated by apprentices who learned the trade from us. The methodology that we had in our shop continues to operate and influence the meat trade."
In other news:
The first Knights Meats store was opened in 1964 on Baylis Street after Greg Knight relocated his family to the city from Newcastle.
About 10 years later, the Knight family purchased and renovated an empty building for wholesale trading before opening its Fitzmaurice Street shopfront on January 10, 1974.
After 35 years of trading, Knights Meats was sold to the McNaughton family in 2009.