Robyn Rowe, Murrumbateman's chocolate lady, is hanging up her apron after nearly 20 years of turning out sweet treats, first from her country kitchen and then from her shop on the family property, Boolarong.
Robyn, who turns 80 in November, says it was just time to step back after creating the thriving, award-winning business.
"It just kind of grew and my passion for it grew as well," she said.
The shop, her home and the 9.6 hectares of Murrumbateman countryside they sit on is going to auction on May 16.
She and her husband Denis bought the land in 1998 when there was barely a tree and moved in with their family the next year. They built their house planted 400 trees which now flourish across the property.
Robyn, a Mothercraft nurse, and Denis, a teacher who taught at Merici College, both originally from Cowra, had five children - Christopher, Benjamin, Sophie, Lucy and Tim.
She started making chocolates at home after they moved to Murrumbateman from Sydney.
"I just read an article about the Margaret River Chocolate Company and how they'd left Perth and gone out to a valley and we'd left Sydney to come here and there was a symmetry," she said.
"I was always creative. I was doing needlework and I used to sell my embroidery at a little craft shop in Yass. Everything I've done has always been very hands-on, I suppose. So I decided to find out about chocolate."
After some trial and error, she studied chocolate making at TAFE in Sydney and decided to use Fair Trade callebaut chocolate from Belgium, seeking out help from the Belgium Embassy to find an importer.
"And the rest is history," she said.
A big order for a Boroowa wedding led to her biting the bullet and having the confidence to open the shop. Robyn Rowe Chocolates the shop opened in January, 2012. She and her seven staff now make thousands of chocolates each week.
"I really couldn't even put a figure on it," she said.
Easter was "huge". And they will be doing a special dessert for this Anzac Day weekend - a lime and mascarpone tart with an Anzac biscuit base.
The most popular chocolate is Coconut Lime Zing made with fresh limes, milk chocolate and coconut puree.
The business got through COVID-19 last year "with flying colours", moving to restricted hours, online payments and socially-distanced serving.
Full of energy and verve, Robyn appears ageless. She started the business when most people are looking to retire and is looking forward to the next chapter as she approaches 80 with her children and grandchildren, probably moving to Canberra.
"I fade in the afternoon. It gets to three o-clock and I think, 'Oh glory, I need to go and have a little nanna nap'," she said, with a laugh.
The sale of the property includes the business as a going concern or it could be turned into something else such as an Air BnB or a wedding venue.
She and Denis, who passed away five years ago, loved their time in the Murrumbateman bush.
The property Boolarong was named after the place they spent their honeymoon in Queensland. The name means "a place of plenty" which is what it has given Robyn and her family - plenty of memories and plenty of happiness. And a successful chocolate business made from scratch.
"I'll miss the busy-ness of it, I think," she said.
"I've trained 31 staff over the years, given them opportunities. I've had young kids who were at school and went on to university and then stayed on for three or four years.
"It's been lovely."
Robyn Rowe Chocolates will still be operating until at least mid-year, following the auction on May 16.
- Robyn Rowe Chocolates, 1153 Nanima Road, Murrumbateman is open Thursday to Monday 10am to 5pm.