Ellen and Ron Kaiser of Dix Hills were co-workers when they met. Ellen recalls their courtship.
I was 17 and a senior at Elmont Memorial High School in 1981 when I became a part-time cashier at the neighborhood Key Food supermarket. Little did I know that this after-school job would change my life.
At the store I discovered that all the other cashiers were smitten with the meat manager, Ron Kaiser. He was 23 and very good-looking. I was introduced to him — my name was Ellen Nacinovich then — and I, too, began looking forward to Ron coming by on his breaks to chat.
He began working at the store in 1975 when he was in high school. His father was a butcher at another Key Food store. Ron and a couple of roommates were renting his parents’ house in Syosset. My future in-laws had moved to Ron’s grandparents’ house in Amityville.
In 1982, Ron was transferred to a new Key Food store in Levittown. I thought I would never see him again. That fall I began classes at Nassau Community College.
One day I took a ride with a friend to the Levittown store. I saw Ron and told him all about my classes, including a tennis class. He suggested we play sometime, but it didn’t happen.
Ron returned to our store in June 1984, and we both attended the company picnic. After our softball game that day, we sat together on the grass and talked. “Do you want to play tennis next week?” Ron asked me. We were finally going to have our first date.
Ron drove a Honda, but for our date he picked me up in his red 1966 Alpha Romeo convertible. We went to a tennis court in Syosset, then had dinner at the El Torito restaurant. As we were leaving the restaurant his car broke down. Ron called his roommate for a ride home and then drove me home in his Honda. We continued dating, and eight months later got engaged. I learned that in the mid-1950s Ron’s parents met while working at Dilbert’s grocery store in Massapequa.
On June 20, 1986, we were married at St. Boniface Church in Elmont, across the street from the Key Food store where we met. We sold Ron’s Alpha Romeo and put the money toward our first house.
In 1990, Ron left the butcher trade to became a partner at Miss Chocolate Fundraising Inc. in Melville. I worked in banking from 1984 to 1998 and left my job as a data entry department manager to join him in the business. Ron may have left butchering, but he still loves to shop for good cuts of meat and is a superb cook.
We have raised three beautiful children together. This month we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary and plan a trip to Europe. A love like ours is rare, which is why we count our blessings each and every day.
— With Virginia Dunleavy