When the Engelmans business turned into a 72-hour working week and cauliflower packed a punch at $9 a head, something had to give.
Molong's Dave and Emma Engelman, 42 and 37, took Orange's Herba Salata reins from Ophelia Heffernan back in September 2022.
A dream to begin with, Mrs Engelman says running the wholesome salad shop was "going pretty well" for a fair while - but it wasn't long until burning the candle at both ends and price hikes became a raw reality to face.
"I think you've got to be brave enough to make a change if something's not sitting right with you and your family," Mrs Engelman said.
"We gave it a red hot crack, but after crunching some numbers and and feeling suffocated with no other time outside of the business, you can't be silly and keep going just to save face or because of pride.
"So, we had to use common sense about what was beneficial for our family, and we made the call to redirect where we'd been channelling that love."
On the back-end of helping parents retire, the Engelman unit was also forcibly rendered homeless after November 2022 floodwaters swallowed their Molong family home.
Settling now in Orange, the count of Airbnb homes they lived in tallied six by the end of it.
"We were heavily involved in selling the service station for mum and dad, which has been a family-run business for 35 years," Mrs Engelman said
"So, we were really in the thick of it to begin with and to be fair, I think we started this journey already exhausted.
"It's been really good putting the effort into [Herba Salata], but if there comes a time when your family life is suffering and you haven't seen your friends for 12 months, something has to give.
"We just had to put our hand up in the end and say 'you know what, I think we're ready to tap out now'."
If there comes a time when your family life is suffering ... something has to give.- Herba Salata owner, Emma Engelman on shutting shop and putting family first.
With the ongoing spike in ingredient pricing teamed with the rising cost of living woes, Mrs Engelman says continuing the business meant likely hikes behind the counter.
"Something we definitely experienced in the last 12 months, people are very price-sensitive at the moment and tightening up their belts for obvious and understandable reasons," she said.
"After weighing everything up ourselves as well, we were probably looking at having to put our prices up by 50 per cent to make any money.
"It's not easy running a small business and unless you've been in it, people don't see what it really takes to run something and do it successfully."
The pair say their three "beautiful" staff members have been instrumental in the hub's victories during the last 15 months, wishing them all the best in their future endeavours.
With Mr Engelman in negotiating stages for employment in the logistics sector, Mrs Engelman will fall back on her background in either nursing or beauty.
But it may not be the last people see of Herba Salata.
"It won't be long and I'll be a bit bored and come up with something, but we'll definitely have a break until at least June," she said.
"I'm thinking of doing something with the Herba Salata name with catering salads for a few events we've got lined up.
"So, we'll likely still be around, but just not in the form of a cafe."
The Engelman pair are also looking forward to spending more time with their 12 and six-year-old children, Oscar and Pippa.
"We managed quite well with it all, but we had to adjust when we couldn't keep the process the same and it really came down to family for us, wholesome family time," she said.
"We're all meant to be enjoying our lives, as well, not flogging ourselves to a point our kids start missing out.
"I know for me to be the best mum or the mum I want to be, I need to be realistic and make sure they're first."