LENNOX Head last Saturday not only lost a well-established small business, but also 18 years of experience in coastal gardening.
The shed doors at Lennox Hire and Garden Supplies, owned by Sue and Stephen McDonald, were closed for the last time, with the poor weather this year playing its part.
Sue was understandably saddened by the closure.
"I lived in this shed for 18 years," she said, referring to the many hours she and Stephen spent in building the business up.
"This is home."
And the couple's seven children - four boys and three girls - all had stints working in the business.
The final decision to close the doors came when Stephen took up a job with a Murwillumbah-based construction company.
Sue said he had been forced to look for other work to help pay the bills. She has been working part-time at a nursing home for four years.
With Stephen away at his new job, Sue said it was impossible for her to run the business by herself.
News of the closure has been met with shock by locals.
"We've had a lot of locals come in and say 'You're joking'," Sue said.
"But we know when to hold them, and we know when to fold them."
The business had become a social hub for tradies, with many enjoying a cuppa and a chat at the "bar".
Sue and Stephen, originally from Lismore, bought the business 18 years ago when they were living at Inverell and looking to come back to the coast.
It had been established for two years before that.
Now Sue urges locals to shop locally.
"Use your local businesses so you don't lose any more," she said.
She thanked the local community for its support over the years.
The couple won't be moving away from their Lennox home.