The potential buyer that could have saved the iconic Knights Meats from closing has pulled out, causing the owners to rethink about the business' future.
Knights Meats and Deli has announced its decision to scale down and close its butchery and grocery sections, with only the deli remaining.
The final day of trading for the existing company will be August 15, with the following day marking the start of the new business: Knights Deli.
Owner Deanna McNaughton said only about a third of the staff will keep their jobs.
"At the moment, we don't have a definitive figure as we're still working out who we can retain and those we can't," she said.
"Out of our 45 staff, I'm pretty certain only about 12 to 15 staff can be retained."
The potential new owner did not come forward at the last minute due to a number of reasons, which meant a deal could not be made that would see the business change hands.
Mrs McNaughton said the deli will be retained in the building, which they own, and will mean they can focus on what separates them from others.
"It's been an emotional rollercoaster and while we are really disappointed that we couldn't retain the business all in tact, we've listened to what the community really loves and have taken that on-board and we'll need to hone in on what we can do really well," she said.
"This makes me hopeful for the future, whereas a month ago I was feeling worn down, exhausted and probably a little bit dismayed.
"The community outpouring and the amazing stories they've shared with us ... gives us a bit of renewed vigor and I'm so passionate about the Riverina.
"This represents an opportunity for us to continue to support the region's local producers and focus on convenience, entertaining and providing the best of the best high-quality foods," Mrs McNaughton said.
Just three weeks ago, Knights Meats announced it would close down after 45 years and then a week later they extended trading until July 31.
Mrs McNaughton said the business saw increased traffic and greater community support.
"This is probably what gave us renewed positivity when it seemed all hope was lost," she said.
"After 10 years of a lot of hard blood, sweat and tears and after months of the car park stress, it was great to see the community showing support.
"We want to thank the whole Riverina community for the support they have shown and doors will now be open at the front of the deli and we'll be giving 110 per cent in a newer, smaller, evolved version of Knights."
Knights' renewed focus will include:
- Regional produce from the Riverina, such as hampers
- Convenience meals, 'gourmet to go', hot meals and fresh salads
- Hampden Bridge ham and bacon
- Local and international cheese
- Catering and grazing boards
- Knights Riverina Smokehouse award-winning jerky and small goods
- Knights Riverina gourmet goodies, like toffee apples, choc-dipped oranges and biscotti.