Kristen Bandoo fell in love with Anthony Denning due to an early promise he made her that he has not been in a position to hold. “One of many first issues he mentioned to me was, ‘I might by no means be mad at you since you’re at all times smiling,’” Ms. Bandoo mentioned. “Boy was I flawed,” Mr. Denning mentioned.
It hasn’t prevented him from wanting to construct a life, and a enterprise, along with her.
Ms. Bandoo, 31, and Mr. Denning, 27, met within the fall of 2016 when each had been working at seventh Restaurant and Lounge in Charlotte, N.C. Mr. Denning, who grew up in Raleigh, had been cooking there for 2 years. Ms. Bandoo, from Atlanta initially, took a waitressing job to complement her earnings as an American Airways flight attendant.
Earlier than he made the smile promise, Mr. Denning didn’t assume they’d hit it off. “I used to be like, she’s fairly and the whole lot,” he mentioned. However their buddy teams on the restaurant didn’t overlap. She bridged that divide with a flirty textual content.
“I used to be crushing on him,” she mentioned. “I informed him he ought to come over and make a birthday dinner for me.”
Her birthday is Nov. 4. The one day their schedules aligned was on Halloween, however Ms. Bandoo had already made plans to attend a fancy dress celebration that night time, so he agreed to prepare dinner her an early dinner.
“However the entire time I used to be cooking she was in her room, placing on make-up for her costume,” he mentioned. “Then I had dinner with a lion. After which she mentioned, ‘Thanks for the dinner,’ and left me.”
The groundwork for a realization that he might, actually, get aggravated along with her had been laid. However he was lovestruck anyway. By 2018, they had been boyfriend and girlfriend. And not co-workers.
Ms. Bandoo, who stays a full-time flight attendant, misplaced curiosity in holding a facet job. And Mr. Denning give up the restaurant to launch a meals truck, 225 Avenue Meals, with two enterprise companions. He was just a few months into promoting shrimp po’ boys when Mr. Denning proposed on Nov. 3, 2018, at Escape Tactic, a Charlotte escape room.
“The final mission was, you had to determine a code that unlocks a rope that pulls a key out of a effectively,” he mentioned. Along with the important thing, he had organized for a water-resistant field to come back up from the effectively. Inside was a observe that learn, “Will you marry me?”
When Ms. Bandoo retrieved it, he bought down on one knee and offered an engagement ring.
“I informed you from the soar I used to be critical,” he mentioned. “I’m critical, and I wish to spend the remainder of my life with you.” Via tears, Ms. Bandoo mentioned sure.
Just a little greater than a 12 months later, they’d begin spending their lives collectively virtually solely. That they had already moved right into a Charlotte house collectively when the pandemic hit. Then the 225 Avenue Meals partnership disbanded, paving the way in which for a pairing in each love and enterprise.
In September 2020, they launched One other!? Meals Truck. As Mr. Denning hammered out the idea — Southern staples with a Northeastern twist, like a fried shrimp lobster roll — Ms. Bandoo, whose flight schedule had thinned with the plummet in air journey, booked catering gigs.
The marriage they initially deliberate for Aug. 1 was pushed to 2021.
“We had been busy getting the enterprise going,” she mentioned. “However then it was like, this pandemic isn’t going to blow over.”
On March 27, they had been married by Tori McCullers, a Common Life Church minister, at Majestic Mill Weddings in Belmont, N.C., as 96 friends, who agreed to strict masks enforcement, watched.
“Truthfully, when the venue informed us that they had a gap, we took it,” Ms. Bandoo mentioned. “We had been engaged a very long time, and we needed to get married and get again to work.”
Their sights are actually set on a brand new enterprise: “Our subsequent purpose is to grow to be householders,” she mentioned.