On her seventh birthday, Jackie El-Achkar was handed the keys to open her parent's new takeaway shop on Borella Road.
After 40 years in fish and chips, 29 as owner of South Albury's JT's Takeaway, she's ready to call it a day.
Jackie and husband, Tony, opened the Ebden Street eatery in 1992 and are still standing three decades later.
Tony, a butcher by trade, moved to Australia from Lebanon in the early 90s and worked for Jackie's parents, before they wanted to go out on their own.
The couple looked at a move to Melbourne, but there was no place like home for Jackie and they purchased the store, 18 months after it had been built.
"It took us nearly 12 months to get customers in. We were battling," Tony said.
"Interest rates were around 17.5 per cent, so it was very hard for the first five years.
"But when you work hard, you always survive."
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The store prided itself on a largely homemade menu, which kept customers coming back.
"We've been making our own potato cakes for 29 years and mum and dad did that before us," Jackie said.
"Tony makes his own calamari and we serve Middle Eastern meals, we've always tried to keep that up.
"If people want to have a chat, you've got to. You might be busy, but you've got to make the time to stay in touch with the customer.
"Ninety per cent of our customers are friends and they become family."
Such has been their impact, Tony was once spotted by one of his customers at a busy Singapore airport.
"Someone was calling "Tony, Tony" and I thought it must have been someone else, but I turned around and it was for me," he laughed.
JT's experienced a major boom when construction of the Hume Freeway bypass through the Twin Cities commenced in 2005 and was officially opened in 2007.
But the business took a major hit afterwards as less traffic used the Lincoln Causeway to commute.
"It's a good thing to have a highway, but a lot of people got hurt out of it while others got good benefit," Tony said.
"It's okay, you win some, you lose some."
Jackie and Tony aren't sure what lies in store, but a holiday is in order.
"We haven't been away for 16 years together because someone always has to be here," Jackie said.
"I think it will be emotional because we've had all five kids while we've been here, we've watched them get married.
"It's a bit scary actually. It's starting to hit home."
JT's Takeaway will officially close on Saturday, September 25, but the shop will stay in the family with Jackie and Tony's son and his partner to start a new chapter.
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