"It was our time."
Peter and Debbie Eldred have sold Peter's Refrigeration after 39 years.
The nearly four-decade long journey has come to an end for the husband and wife team who said in an interview with the Mudgee Guardian that they've been thinking about selling up for a while.
"We've been thinking about it for at least the last five years and the opportunity came in," Peter said.
In the news:
"We've been just doing it by word of mouth trying to sell it through refrigeration companies throughout the region. And that wasn't proven to be real successful so we approached a broker last year and put it on the market."
The business was sold in August to Chill-rite, a business in the region with stores in Orange and Dubbo run by father and son team Luke Robinson and Ian Robinson.
"We approached Luke five years ago, but it wasn't the right time for him either. He was having a family and building his business and he wasn't quite ready. It just worked out that we got the contract for the new Mudgee art gallery and that was another point that sped things up a little bit," Peter said.
Peter and Debbie will assist with the transition for another six months or so as the new owners take over and all current staff will remain in Mudgee.
The company - according to Peter's estimates - has trained 25 apprentices in the 39 years. One apprentice who started in 1988 is still with the company.
Debbie said they've always had a great relationship with their staff and clients.
"We've had people leave and come back, I saw that someone is coming back to work for Chill-rite and I said 'oh, he is coming back?' and one apprentice said 'well it is like home'. So we must be doing something right," she said.
Peter reflected on some of the memorable jobs they've worked on in the past and what it's been like working as a family team.
"We've worked on the Dubbo Art Gallery, on the chilled water system there and it was a massive job. We've also looked after the Parkes Radio Telescope since 1990. We airconditioned the new focal cabin at the telescope that required the largest crane in the southern hemisphere to lift off the old cabin," he said.
"It is a lot of work as a team and and you take the work home with you anyway. It's pretty hard to switch off sometimes but you have always have discussions about what was going on anyway."
"We wanted to thank everybody for their support. If it wasn't for Mudgee we wouldn't be here," Peter and Debbie said.
Want more local news?