"Marriage at Work" with Eav and Sovanna Ngov

Updated: 02/11/2014 7:15 PM
Created: 02/11/2014 6:32 PM
By: Laura Lee

"Welcome to Asian Food Store."

Eav and Sovanna Ngov own the Asian Food Store in Rochester.  They've been in business for 18 years, working seven days a week,12 hour days.

"We busy all the time here," says Sovanna.

The Asian Food Store is one of several Asian grocery stores in town, but when you come here, it's more than just a store.

It's also a place that resembles a part of Cambodia -- their home.

"When you arrived here, what was different about this country?" I asked.
"One thing we have here, especially is freedom," says Eav.

The couple left a war torn country at young ages and ended up at a refugee camp where they met and were arranged to be married.

"I was 19-years-old, so I listened to my mother and my brother," says Sovanna, "he's a neighbor in Cambodia, then we get married in the camp."

The couple moved to the United States in 1989, landing in Rochester.

"When I first came to Rochester at that time, it's a small town theres only one small Cambodian owned grocery store," says Eav.

Following in his father's footsteps, Eav opened a grocery store of his own.  "We need to provide all the fresh stuff that we use to eat in our country."
Sharing their culture with their community and their American-raised children.  Two boys and a girl -- all old enough to now help mom and dad with the business.

"Keep us comfortable like a family," says Sovanna.

And although they rarely get time off just the two of them, when they do, it's to sin city to watch Celine Dion.

"Especially you want to be happy yourself, then you make sure that she's happy," chuckles Eav pointing to his wife, "and when mom is  happy - you got a big steak dinner and if mom not happy, its MAMA instant noodle," he laughs.

And although they have their "noodle" nights, they know they've come a long way.    

"Once upon a time, two strangers met together," says Eav.
Two strangers, eventually arriving in America together, still going strong.

"You have to forgive each other and learn to forgiveness and be happy and make each other happy," says Sovanna.

The Ngov's will be celebrating their 25th year as U.S citizens and their 30th wedding anniversary this July.