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Woman Ties the Knot at White Castle Almost 30 Years After the Chain Gave Her Free Food as a Homeless Teen Jamie West was just 12 years old when she ran away from the foster care system.

By Emily Rella

Getty Images
An exterior view of a White Castle restaurant in the Queens borough of New York City.

It's a fairytale ending for one former White Castle customer who was fed by the chain when she was a teenager living on the streets.

After turning to the chain when she had nowhere else to go, Jamie West had a full circle moment when she tied the knot with her long-term boyfriend, Drew Schmitt, inside one of the chain's restaurants in Arizona.

West said that she left the foster care system when she was just around 12 years old and after some time in encampments, hitchhiked around the country in an attempt to find work. After about a week of struggling to find food, West stumbled upon a White Castle — the first she had ever seen.

"For an underage homeless kid, having any kind of safe space is life-changing," West told People. "The first time I walked into a White Castle, the woman behind the counter goes, 'You poor thing.' She handed me a fresh cup of water, a stack of sliders and let me use the bathroom. I got to clean my face and wash my hands."

After that encounter, West said whenever she would come across a White Castle, she knew it would be a safe space for her to go.

West and her husband tied the knot in a White Castle with over 200 guests, both donning custom-made outfits in the chain's signature blue and gold coloring.

White Castle touches to the event included endless sliders, cheesecake, and a giant cake designed to look just like one of the company's signature burgers.

"Jamie's story serves as a reminder of the power of kindness and being there for one another as we keep focus on our purpose of feeding the souls of Craver generations everywhere," Jamie Richardson, White Castle vice president, told Today.

There are an estimated 345 White Castle locations in the U.S.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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