“We’ve never been more than four metres away from each other; that’s the secret, you fall in love and you keep doing what you did from that moment. If you fell in love the first day because you were together, keep it that way for as long as you can.”
He is from Spain, she hails from India. And on the surface this may make Renou and Moises an unlikely pair, but spend an hour in this couple’s presence and it’s plain for anyone, from anywhere, to see these two were made for each other.
Moises tells the story of how he met Renou like it was yesterday. “It’s a funny story actually,” Moises begins.
I owned a shop in Canberra and this young lady came in one day asking for a casual job while she was at Uni. Two weeks later, I gave her a job and six months later, we got married
Moises was 17 years old when he left Spain and joined the Merchant Navy. He travelled the world for two years and settled in Melbourne in 1964.
Renou was born in Paris where her father was working for the Indian Consulate. She came to Canberra in 1982 while working for the High Commission of India , and then she met Moises.
In 1986, the couple moved to Brisbane in search of a warmer climate. “We soon opened our first restaurant in Sunnybank, then one in Springwood, then we opened Suburban Bistro Mount Gravatt, and finally, opened Suburban West End,” Moises says.
With a bit of bad luck, and like many other businesses in the area, the couple were flooded only three months after opening. “It wasn’t easy,” Renou says. “But the locals were great and supported us really well. We have a lot of loyal customers, a lot of regulars and they have been here with us, through thick and thin,” she says. Through many ups (and of course some downs), Renou and Moises have done it all together, literally.
Renou echoes this statement in a heartbeat. “We come to work together, we work all day together, go home together, go shopping together, cook together,” she says laughing. Renou and Moises have four children, Damian, Joshua, Ashley and Cara Mia.
Moises strongly believes that this notion of togetherness is what keeps couples together when the going might get tough. “It’s that simple, just be together — the more you are together, the more unified you will be,” he says.
Thirty years later, their love is deeper, stronger, and just as passionate as it was all those years ago. A shop brought them together; a shop holds them together now. Their story is one of love and of togetherness and all that that idea encompasses. And in a society that so often finds itself embroiled in the turmoil that is separation, distortion of love and ultimately divorce, Renou and Moises seem nothing short of an inspiration. They are the kind of ‘hero’ couple we all need to witness once in a while to remind us why we fall in love (and want to stay in love).”
Words by Allie Gilfedder | Images by Gillian van Niekerk