WORDS like 'iconic', 'legacy' and 'famous' are associated with the small town's well-known Bank Street business, which, after 44 years of trading, will soon close its doors forever.
"It's an icon, it is," operator of Be Tempted at Barnesys for the past 16 years, Jodie Laffin said.
"The new owners will make their own iconic stamp here, but our business name - it goes with us."
Having birthed their business dealings in Cumnock back in 1973 before shifting to Molong, Jodie's parents - Graham 'Barnesy' and Robyn Barnes - put in "hard work and long hours", sole trading in the hospitality world until 2007.
Barnsey was then diagnosed with cancer, where the reins of business operations fell into the hands of couple, Jodie and Robert Laffin.
While their management was "the best thing" for the family-owned and operated business at the time, Mr Barnes says he can also see when the brakes need to be pulled.
"It's sad for us - it was a sad day when I walked out of here after the supermarket - but God yeah, we feel proud of these two. We all do," Mr Barnes said.
"I can see that the pressure's on both of them and raring young kids ... it's tough. But, that was the decision - plus the fact that I'm not getting any younger - but it's time now, it's too much for them."
Shaking hands on a deal one year ago, the Barnes and Laffin pairs officially sold the space last Friday to Molong entrepreneurs, Kate Redfern and Sally Brazier - business partners who opened Lime and Stone café in September of 2020 - keeping the secret between them until the timing was right.
"The deal was done 12 months ago, but when COVID hit I said 'right, let's all get through this first and wait for the right timing'," Mrs Laffin said.
"We kept it very quiet, no one in town knew - only us four and my father knew - but the time's right now and while it's been very emotional for us, it was a really good, open sale."
With their daughter 18-years-of-age, the Laffin's also juggle the needs of three foster children at home who are currently in their care, with the eldest turning 12 and the youngest just 19 months old.
Throw in extreme fatigue on top of raring the three youngsters, ageing parents on both sides and a phone call to coach the Australian Country men's hockey team again - and the timing of selling their business to focus on family, has never made more sense.
"We just can't give 100 per cent to here, 24/7 any more and we have for 16 years and neither of us want to give any less," Mr Laffin said.
"And it is exciting, because I can go and focus on it and not worry about any drama at home, like something breaking at the shop or someone's sick ... we can step away and focus on local stuff with the kids, sports on the weekend, meet people for lunch, things up at the school - it'd be nice to have a holiday and chill out, just some time together."
We just can't give 100 per cent to here, 24/7 any more and we have for 16 years and neither of us want to give any less.- Be Tempted at Barnesys owner, Robert Laffin on retiring from the family-run business
Feeling "incredibly lucky" across the board with employees, the Laffin's describe their workers over the years as "the lifeblood" of the business, which includes the importance of their patrons since its inception.
'We've been incredibly lucky to have great staff and wonderful customers - we couldn't have survived without loyal customers and we've got a heap of those," Mrs Laffin said.
"It's been a hard slog, even with good staff - I can remember sitting on the kitchen floor one day changing oil and I just [emotionally] lost it. As soon as the door was open, the shop was packed - there was no easing into it," Mr Laffin said.
"So, I'd hate to have done it with staff who weren't up to the task, but they've been sensational - they were the lifeblood of the shop."
With a total of eight employees still on the Barnsey books until Sunday, the Laffin's say they'll be integrated with the new staff - who they'll help "train up" for the next month or so under the new Lime and Stone banner.
The new buyers will eventually expand their current café into the larger space - with one of its two owners, Kate Redfern describing Barnesys as part of the "Molong fabric" for such a long time.
"We are incredibly thankful to the Barnes and Laffin families for the opportunity - they have always been amazing community ambassadors and that is a legacy we hope we can continue," Mrs Redfern said.
With plans for a "slow and natural transition" for the interim, the Lime and Stone operators say they will continue trading out of both of the locations until minor renovations are complete.
The new owners also anticipate an economic boost, ploughing more money and work roles into the village, and says they're "very humbled" for the chance to purchase the iconic business and building, period.
"We love the Molong community and see it's enormous potential," Mrs Redfern said.
"[And] we're hoping to continue on with the success of both businesses and create more dining and shopping options, as well as stabilising employment opportunities for our town."
We are incredibly thankful to the Barnes and Laffin families for the opportunity - they have always been amazing community ambassadors and that is a legacy we hope we can continue.- Lime and Stone café owner, Kate Redfern
The success of Be Tempted at Barnesys, however, has reached its peak, according to the Barnes and Laffin families - who will now back the new space dwellers.
"We want to see them [Kate and Sally] do it, for them to be successful," Mrs Laffin said.
"So, my main thing will be Kate and Sal, to get them through and help them ease into this. This was my life for and it'll be my life still, until I know they're alright."
WANT TO HAVE YOUR SAY?
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.