Sweetheart Stories: A perfect match made by chance in a restaurant

Daniel Obermeier talks about meeting his wife, Erin.

Daniel Obermeier, his son, Nicholas and his wife, Erin.

Editor’s Note: The following Sweetheart Story was submitted to The Sun by Cherry Hill resident Daniel Obermeier.

In 1998, I transferred colleges from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, to The Art Institute of Philadelphia. My mother was living in Bellmawr with her new husband, my now stepfather. To keep tuition down, I decided to live with them and commute into Philadelphia while in school. After moving to Bellmawr, my first goal was to get a part-time job to help pay my way while in school. Having experience in the restaurant business and knowing these types of jobs are easily accessible and work with a student’s schedules, I applied at several restaurants between the Cherry Hill and Deptford areas. On my first day of looking I had randomly setup three interviews throughout the day. By chance my first interview was at Steak & Ale in Cherry Hill (rest in peace). Little did I know this random, by chance scheduling would sculpt the rest of my life. Just after the Steak & Ale interview I had another setup with The Ground Round (RIP) in Deptford. At the end of my interview with Steak & Ale, they offered me a line-cook position. I accepted and immediately afterwards called the Ground Round and thanked them for setting up an interview, but told them I had just taken another position. The manager at the Ground Round said “Oh that’s a shame. We are in desperate need of a grill cook and with your experience, we were ready to offer you the position right away… assuming the interview went well. Well, thanks for calling and good luck!”

My wife’s connection to Cherry Hill is very different. Her family had moved from North Jersey to Cherry Hill when she was a little girl (sometime in the 1980s.) She grew up in Cherry Hill, went through the Cherry Hill school system and graduated from Cherry Hill West. During this time, she started working at Steak & Ale, first as a hostess and eventually moving on as a server.

Fast forward to 1998, I start working at Steak & Ale where my future girlfriend and eventual wife and mother to my child had been working for years. We meet and to be fully honest, I didn’t care for her initially. She had just turned 21 and was in that ‘I’m 21 and am going to party phase of life,’ Being only 19, I was a bit jealous and quickly realized we had nothing in common even with such a small age difference.

Over the next few months, I had gotten to know her a little better. She listed to my story of heartache (I went through a rough breakup just before leaving Bloomsburg for The Art Institute and had trust issues). Over some time, I started to see her as a friend. Little did I know she had somewhat of a crush on me. One thing led to another and we started dating in July of 1999. Well, 18 years later and we’re still together. We were married at St. Andrews Methodist Church in Cherry Hill on October 8, 2006. We lived in Voorhees for some time. Our son was born February 18, 2012. And just this past summer, we sold our condo in Voorhees and bought a house in Cherry Hill. We’re extremely happy to be in Cherry Hill and raise our son in such a great town with a great school system.

I guess to most the story isn’t all that amazing, but from my perspective, my wife and I met only by chance. If I had scheduled the Ground Round interview first, I would have taken that position, cancelled the Steak and Ale interview and would never have met my wife or had our incredible little boy. Or if the manager at hadn’t offered me the position on the spot, who knows.