By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s the end of an era for a downtown Elk River staple.

Elk River Meats closed its doors on Saturday for the last time. The family-owned business has been a main stay in the town for 50 years.

In 2017, WCCO’s viewers named the butcher shop the best place in Minnesota for beef sticks, known to customers as “Happy Sticks.”

Loyal customers say their home-town meat market will be missed.

“I am going to miss them. I am going to miss their meat – it’s always perfect and their pies!” said customer Judy Brenteson. “Happy sticks, beer cheese, string cheese, and friendship yes, we’re going to miss them.”

Owners Bob and Denise Robeck are retiring. They say the plan is to travel and complete some projects at home.

Their last day in business comes 50 years to the day they purchased the storefront.

“We’ve kept it old fashioned all these years and people really like that. We never changed, and when people came in the door, we knew their names,” said Bob Robeck.

“You become friends,” added Denise Robeck.

The Mayor of Elk River stopped by to give the Robecks a plaque and the town’s Mayor’s Award.