Couple Who Met in Homeless Shelter Run $1.8M Business Together 8 Years Later – Story of the Day


After getting kicked out of her home by her husband, Suzanne found herself at a homeless shelter and worried about her future until she met another man. He had been at the shelter once before and told her about his surprising life, which changed everything for Suzanne.

Suzanne was crying on the steps outside the Seattle local homeless shelter. She had already settled inside and left her meager belongings on a bed. However, she wanted some peace and relished the quiet cold of the night. She only wished she didn’t have to be in that situation.

Her husband, Darius, had kicked her unceremoniously out of their house, which they had shared for the past five years. He said he was not in love with her anymore and didn’t want anything to do with her. Since the house was part of his inheritance, Suzanne didn’t think she could fight for anything, so she grabbed what she could and just left. Others might fight for more, but she didn’t have the energy.

The man she had loved for so long kicked her out, not caring if she would be safe. The fact that she had almost no money saved for herself because she had not worked in a while after suffering from mental health issues did not seem to matter much to Darius. If someone who claimed to love her for so long could do that, there was nothing to fight for. She lost all her energy and just left.

“Oh, so you walked away?”
The local homeless shelter was her only option. She couldn’t stay there for long, but she hoped it would help her think of a solution to her problem. For the moment, the chilly night was calming.

“Hey, there,” a male voice said some behind, and Suzanne heard the footsteps coming closer.

She mumbled a tiny and useless “Hey” and continued her quiet contemplation of the night.

“You’re new here,” the man continued and sat beside her, but not too close.

“Yeah,” she replied, nodding, but said nothing else. She wasn’t up for conversation at the moment. However, the man insisted.

“I’m Tony,” he said and smiled gently at her. She only grinned slightly and looked away again. This didn’t deter Tony, who nodded and chuckled. “This must be your first time at a homeless shelter.”

Suzanne was surprised by that comment and wanted to ask how he knew. “It is. How do you could you tell?”

“Well, it’s not like I’m an expert at it, but I have been here twice in my life. You can always tell who’s a veteran in this situation and who is new and wondering how they got there,” Tony answered calmly.

“So, you’re a veteran?”

“I wouldn’t say that. I’m just… I guess I’m more prepared this time around. I have a plan… I think,” he said, pursing his lips and grinning as if he wasn’t sure.

“How did you get here?”

“The first time or this time?”

“Whatever,” Suzanne shrugged.

“I guess I’ll begin with the first time, which taught me the biggest lesson of my life: Do not trust strangers,” Tony started. “I inherited my parents’ house when they died suddenly. I couldn’t afford some of the taxes, so I decided to get a roommate. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I was stupid, and that… man stole my house. Legally stole it. I still can’t believe it. So, I ended up here.”

“That doesn’t seem real,” Suzanne remarked, shocked by his revelation.

Tony chuckled humorlessly. “Right? That’s what I thought. I told my lawyers that over and over. But there was some legal move I still don’t understand to this day, and he took it. I had nothing by the time I was done paying for legal fees, and I never got my house back, so I came here and planned how to get better.”

“What happened next?” Suzanne encouraged. She didn’t know if she was actually interested in the story or if it was a welcomed distraction from her current situation. Either way, it was better than being alone with her own depressing thoughts.

“Well, my plan back then… was good in theory. In execution, it was totally wrong and shameless of me. That led to the second biggest lesson of my life: you can’t live off someone’s else misfortune,” Tony nodded.

“How did you learn that?” Suzanne asked, one side of her mouth quirking up. Tony was funny, although she wasn’t sure he meant to be.

“When I was here the first time, I knew I had to get money fast, and I had no idea how to do that. I had lost my office job after missing too many days during my legal battle for the house, and without an address, I couldn’t find much work. But there was a local coffee shop that offered me a chance,” Tony explained. “I saw many fancy ladies come in, and I thought… maybe, I could seduce one and get my life together.”

Without meaning to, Suzanne burst out in a laugh. But her hands went to her mouth quickly, afraid of having embarrassed Tony. “I’m so sorry. You thought that was going to work?”

“Hey! It did work… for a while at least,” Tony laughed, shaking his head. “I met this woman. I swear she was richer than God. Came from old oil money, and she liked me for some reason.”

“OK,” Suzanne contained her laughter. “What happened then?”

“She was married,” Tony answered.

“Oh, so you walked away?”

“No,” he scoffed. “I would never. I figured that man was also rich, and if his wife was straying, he was probably doing something wrong. I didn’t care about him or their marriage. This fling went on for a long time. She gave me money, found me a new job, and rented me an apartment. I was set. I thought she was going to divorce her husband and marry me. Suddenly, losing my house wasn’t such a big deal.”

“Until her husband found out, right?” Suzanne guessed.

“Not exactly. But her husband came to me one day and begged and cried at the front door of my apartment. Well, the one she rented for me. He begged me to stop the fling because they had children. Apparently, he knew all along but thought his wife would get over it soon. When she didn’t, he decided to plead with me. They had kids. I felt awful, but I was selfish,” Tony continued, more somber now.

“Wow,” Suzanne whispered, chagrined. “What happened then?”

“I still didn’t care. I continued my relationship with her. But her husband went to his in-laws and told them everything. They didn’t like that and threatened to disown her if she continued the fling. She left me then. I was fired from my job because the company also belonged to her family, and I lost the apartment. All that happened two weeks ago. That’s how long I’ve been here,” Tony finished, nodding and sighing.

“Jesus,” she sighed too.

“Yeah.”

“What’s your plan now?”

“My plan now is… just to be honest. Earn a decent living and try to get on my feet. No shortcuts. No cheating. No funny business. That’s it,” Tony revealed. “What about you? Why are you here?”

A few minutes ago, Suzanne wouldn’t have wanted to share her story, but now, Tony was more than a stranger. He felt like a kindred spirit, so she told him everything. They talked for hours until it was time to go inside because the shelter had a curfew.

The next day, Tony went to his job at a construction site. He was trying to save enough money for a room. But that night, he told Suzanne about this opportunity at a local restaurant. They were looking for help in the kitchen. She couldn’t have been more grateful.

Suzanne loved to cook. She wasn’t the best at it, but she was eager to learn and work hard. Additionally, cooking eased her mind and wouldn’t be as stressful as her job years ago had been. Her mental health probably wouldn’t suffer.

“I can’t believe it. We did it. Well, you did, but I helped,” Tony marveled.
She was right, and the job was perfect. A few weeks later, Tony told her he had found a room and asked something surprising. “Would you like to come with me? They allow couples,” he started.

“Couples?”

“Well, I know we’re not a couple. But I asked just in case. It’s in a safe place, and the room is big enough for a bed and a couch. I’ll sleep on the couch. That way, we can save some money together and get ahead. What do you think?” he continued, and his face was so sincere and honest that Suzanne agreed.

They moved in together a few days later, and things settled. Tony kept his promise and only slept on the couch. He was a complete gentleman. They ate the leftovers Suzanne could take home at night and talked about their day. They became best friends instantly. Sometimes, their conversation veered into an almost-flirtatious territory, but they would laugh about it.

Soon, they saved enough to rent themselves a one-bedroom apartment. Tony bought a bed and slept in the tiny living room while Suzanne took the room. She felt terrible about it, but he assured her it was a great arrangement, and their lives were pleasant.

However, everything changed one night when they ate a quick microwave meal. “I wish these things were better. I feel like someone could make decent-tasting meals that only have to be popped into the microwave or the oven for a few minutes like this. But these companies make the fastest things without thought,” Tony gripped about his meal.

“Well, I’ve read about meal prepping and how it can save money. I think I could try to make something like this. Like a lasagna that we can freeze and only put in the oven for a few minutes when we get home from work. I only need to buy ingredients in bulk, and we can make a bunch,” Suzanne suggested while eating.

“That’s a good idea,” Tony said thoughtfully. “Let’s do it.”

Suzanne smiled. They did it. She froze around 20 lasagnas, and they enjoyed them for the next month or so when they were too tired for some fresh. Later, Suzanne tried doing the same with other meals, which turned out great too.

One day, Suzanne got home from work, and Tony jumped in front of her with a huge grin. “I just sold 5 of your lasagnas. All our neighbors have been wondering about the delicious scent coming from our apartment, and I sold them. Some just texted me asking for more,” he revealed.

Suzanne’s eyes widened in shock. “Really? I have to make more then.”

And she did, and the neighbors kept buying. They also requested other meals, and Suzanne obliged, coming up with new frozen meals that were delicious but still easy to prepare. She told someone at work, who suggested they start a formal business.

They didn’t know how to do that, but they researched and got all the paperwork done. They opened a few social media accounts and started selling as best they could. When their shop made its one-thousand sale, Suzanne took the plunge.

“I can’t believe it. We did it. Well, you did, but I helped,” Tony marveled. “One thousand customers since we officially started the business. You’re a miracle, Suz.”

She jumped into his arms and kissed him as passionately as she could. Tony’s eyes were wide as saucers when she pulled away, but he smiled slowly, and they continued kissing… and they never stopped.

Their business grew like they never imagined. They had to rent new spaces, hire employees, and finally, move into a decent apartment. They eventually got married, and soon, their business was worth $1.8 million, and it only grew with time. They were co-owners and took care of their employees.

People could taste the love and homemade care that went into the dishes, and they strive never to change that part of their business, even through the ups and downs. They started a family and dreamed of their kids taking over their business when they retired.

“Where do you want to live when we retire?” Suzanne asked while feeding their baby.

“I want you and I to live on an island like Cape Cod. We deserve it, after all,” Tony suggested, feeding their dog.

“I like that. Fresh seafood. Yum. I think I have an idea for seafood which is tricky…,” Suzanne started, thinking about a new product for their business. This was their life. They loved their work and their family. That’s all anyone can ever ask for.

What can we learn from this story?

Never benefit from someone’s misfortune. It’s one of the lessons Tony learned from his affair, and he never lived like that again.
You can always pick yourself back up. Tony and Suzanne were at a low point in life, but they picked themselves up, helping each other out even when they were just friends. Things only got better when they finally got together.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.


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