From the outside looking in, Sam Graphos was simply satisfying customers through breakfast and lunch, but, in reality, he was contributing so much more to the Homewood community.
Homewood, Alabama residents have been visiting Sam’s Super Samwiches on 18th St. for 51 years. This mom and pop take on delicious, classic and quick sandwiches and hot dogs. Recently, 18th St. has been a little quieter with the recent passing of Homewood legend and Sam’s founder, Sam Graphos.
A month after Graphos’ passing, Sam’s Super Samwiches announced they would be relocating to a location to be announced later after their lease was not renewed by their landlord.
But Sam’s son, Ted Graphos said their new location will be very close to the old one on 18th St.
“In my mind, Sam’s is a part of Homewood. He opened the store the same year I was born. So, there has not been any discussion of any location that isn’t right in this Homewood area,” Graphos said.
The younger Graphos said that there has been great progress made on finding a location, and they are hoping to have an announcement on the new location in the coming weeks.
While it will be impossible to replace Sammy, Sam’s Super Samwiches will live on to honor his legacy and impact on the Homewood community.
“What we want to recreate is the community. On any given Saturday you could have three generations of a family in the store,” Graphos said.
The Graphos family is now striving to honor Sam by doing what they can to recreate the Sam’s Super that everyone has come to know and love. The Graphos family is discussing making some minor changes, but Ted Graphos is weary of changing too much.
“I want people to walk in and it be the Sam’s they remember. Maybe a few more seats and some minor changes, but not much. We’re working now on the design of the store, the equipment and things of that nature,” Graphos said. “But the food, the menu is going to stay almost exactly the same.”
There are, however, a few changes being discussed amongst the family. One of those changes is adding Sam’s Super to the Samford University and UAB student meal plan, allowing Bulldog Bucks and Blazer Bucks to be accepted at the store. Samford student and Sam’s regular, Ty Hatcher, is very excited about that idea.
“I would be at Sam’s almost every day if it was part of our meal plan. I still go all the time even when I’m paying my own money,” explained Hatcher. “So I can’t imagine how much I would spend if it was Bulldog Bucks.”
Engaging with the times and a younger crowd is something the Graphos family has been looking into for some time, Graphos also wants to begin taking advantage of the recent trend in delivery services and partner with the likes of door dash and others.
There is one topic that has been discussed since the inception of Sam’s Super Samwiches that Ted Graphos has been discussing with friends and family: French Fries. Customers far and wide have been calling for Sam’s to serve French fries at lunch, to no avail. Ted Graphos says that he foresees Sam’s Super giving in to the request at the new location. Locals can look forward to this addition and the local staple continuing on in the future.