PETER Neubeck is looking forward to a sleep-in as his time with Beck's Bakery winds down - but it won't be a big sleep-in.
"I think it will take me a long time. I'll probably graduate to three or four o-clock [in the morning], then five or six o'clock," he told the Advocate last week.
"Even as a kid, I was a five or six o-clock waker."
Mr Neubeck and his wife Carmel closed their CBD store last Friday after what they described as "circumstances beyond our control" and will continue to operate their Windradyne shop until the end of July, when it will get new owners.
It has been an unexpectedly abrupt ending to their time in business, but they say they are getting used to the idea of baking not being a part of their life.
Mr Neubeck got into the industry at a young age because he wanted to get off the road.
"We wanted to get married and I had a job travelling around NSW with surveyors at the CMA [Central Mapping Authority]. The ultimatum was get a job back in town," he said.
"I started at Bernard's Bakery when I was 21."
He was there for 13 years before the Neubecks started their Westpoint bakery. They were in George Street for more than 10 years.
It's not an easy life, Mr Neubeck said, but it has been good to him.
"I say to tradies, you can't do something on a certain day, but I don't have a choice," he said.
"If somebody needs 1000 hot dogs or a birthday cake, I can't do a birthday cake next week for them. The work has to be done when it's ordered.
"If it's in the order book of a morning, we do it."
Mr and Mrs Neubeck have seen plenty of familiar faces in the CBD store over the years: not just former locals who always made a point of dropping in when they were back in town, but also the occasional celebrity.
"Ray Martin often used to come," Mrs Neubeck said.
"And we had Fitzy and Wippa [the Nova 96.9 breakfast radio duo]."
"They gave us a good yarn over the Sydney radio," Mr Neubeck said. "We had people ringing from Sydney saying, 'you just got a mention'.
"There's also the people who've left Bathurst - the first thing they do is get a custard slice and a sausage roll or a pie when they get back to Bathurst."
On the subject of custard slices, the Neubecks said they had seen Bathurst's eating habits change radically over the years.
"Tradies used to have a pie, a custard slice and a can of Coke two or three times a day, but now one custard slice is a treat," Mrs Neubeck said.
Highlights over the years have included their Bathurst business award retail wins in 2012 and 2004, their runner-up finish in the national bakery and cafe competition and "lots of awards in the Great Aussie Pie Competition".
Mr Neubeck has also judged at the Pie Time Festival at Bowral in recent years.
"I learnt so much from judging and seeing what other people and great young kids can do," he said.
He also spent decades conducting gingerbread demonstrations to children who would visit the bakery on an excursion with their school.
Mrs Neubeck said parents who had come to the bakery when they were little would sometimes make a return visit with their children to see the demonstration.
"They would all say 'I remember when I did that and we ate the lollies and decorated our gingerbread men'," she said.
"Sometimes the parents were more enthusiastic then the children as it brought back nice memories."
The Neubecks, who will be staying in Bathurst, have plans for a holiday once they hand over the reins of the Windradyne store.
And Mr Neubeck said he'll find time for a bit of reflection as well.
"It's a sad ending, but I have enjoyed the trade: what it's given me, what I have given back to it," he said.
"I would like to say I was the oldest baker in town, but there's a couple older than me floating around. I'll let them keep the record."