Dorie and Lou Amen, owners of Comerce, California-based Super A Foods, were married for 70 years. The couple first met at a picnic in 1949 in Redondo Beach, California.
“He tried to kiss me, and I slapped him,” she recalled.
After a first date to get some soup, their relationship progressed quickly and they were married five months later.
They began what would grow to become an extensive family, consisting today of seven children, 21 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
“I always wanted a large family as I had my brother, who was in the seminary, and then my two really young sisters,” Dorie said. “But all my friends, Irish friends, had big families and they had so much fun.”
Lou had previously told The Shelby Report that he recognized the sacrifices his wife made in their early years. As a result, he was happy for her to do whatever she wanted – the secret to their successful marriage.
Even with a large family, there was never any slowing down for Lou. California experienced an era of grocery store acquisitions and went from about 13 major chains to five in the marketplace. But Lou never had the plan to sell.
“He loved his business, so he never felt the need. We didn’t have to sell,” Dorie said. “He really worked hard and he knew all the price changes. He did it every week until the week he died.”
She thinks Lou got the work ethic from his father, who shoveled coal for 20 years in Michigan.
“[Lou] loved going to work. He did not consider it work. He just wanted to be productive. It was never about money. He didn’t work for money. Money would come as a result of loving what you do,” she said.
Although the love of her life has passed on, all of Dorie’s extensive family continues to be there for her.
Her sons and daughters take turns spending the night with her, and more likely than not, they’re probably playing a spirited game of cards, a competitive family pastime.
Click here to see The Shelby Report‘s special section celebrating Lou Amen and Super A Foods 50th anniversary.