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Sam Osmow, “Sam the Man”, owned a small restaurant called Polar Submarine in the center of Streetsville, Mississauga. He worked all day and night in the restaurant himself which was underperforming due to the surrounding big-name sub chains.
Sam had cooked himself a common middle eastern lunch in the restaurant one day, when he was asked “what smelt so good?” by a regular customer. After asking Sam to try a bite of the dish, the customer had requested it as his replacement order. Sam was inspired by the fact that his customers had an appreciation for this exotic Middle Eastern flavor. He decided to re-brand his restaurant and switch from a sub-shop to a middle eastern cuisine, something he knew best.
Against all advice, he shut down for a week, renovated and re-painted the restaurant with his wife and kids and opened a week later under his new brand, Osmow’s. In April 2001, the crowd in Streetsville had not had a lot of exposure to the middle eastern food and they were hesitant to walk in and try it.
At the Bread & Honey Festival that year, Sam was so passionate about spreading the good taste of his cuisine to the neighborhood that he started giving away free samples at his store front. Soon after, the neighborhood was addicted to the Chicken Shawarma and authentic home-made sauces served at Osmow’s.
In no time, the restaurant had a line up to the door consistently, people were waiting to try a taste from what became the hottest spot for local foodies. There are currently over 40 Osmow’s locations with more locations on the way. Osmow’s has maintained its authenticity and integrity of always using fresh chicken and home-made sauces.
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Sam Osmow holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Administration.
Due to his passion in culinary arts, he gained his experience and unleashed his culinary talent through working in high-end restaurants in Cairo and Kuwait, where he discovered the secrets of delicious Mediterranean and Middle Eastern recipes.
As an aspiring business man, Sam experimented with his own recipes and came up with what Osmow’s is today.