Local business owners and lovebirds celebrate nearly 50 years together

Local business owners and lovebirds celebrate nearly 50 years together

Ruben and Frances Rosales have owned Happy Jack’s Pie N’ Burgers in Downtown Bakersfield for the last 43 year.

Ruben starts his day around 3 a.m., baking pies at the diner, waiting for Frances to arrive.

“She comes in early in the morning and gives me a kiss on the lips,” Ruben said.

More impressively, the couple has been married for nearly 50 years.

“It goes to say I married my best friend,” Frances said. “The first time I married my first love.”

Frances became a widow at the age of 23 after her first husband died from cancer. Left with a two-year-old and a two-day-old, Ruben became her rock.

“He always put the kids and me first and always has,” Frances said. “It was because of his kindness, his friendship.”

The couple never officially dated.

“We never had a formal date,” Ruben said. “We didn’t.”

They wed May 22, 1969.

Seven years later, they bought Happy Jack’s and kept the original name and the original specialties.

“That was his dream,” Frances said. “When we got married, he use to tell me I would love to own my own business, be my own boss.”

For the last four decades they have worked side-by-side.

“I guess it’s better to have your wife as your boss than somebody else,” Ruben said.

The accomplishment they say they are most proud of is their four children and nine grandchildren.

“I always say we’re not rich,” France said. “But, we’re rich in family, love and friends.”

Even after all this time, Ruben still gives Frances butterflies.

“I’ll look at her and say, ‘Honey, you look pretty’, and she puts her head down,” Ruben said. “That I think is cute.”

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