From his childhood, Sam Choy was introduced to a large range of foods by his family. As a young adult, he attended Kapolai Community College, where he realized his passion for culinary arts. After saving money from working at many different kitchens, he opened his first restaurant in the Big Island in 1981. He was able to later open 2 restaurants in Honolulu, and a branch in both Japan and Guam. He credits his success to the variety of flavors available all over Hawaii.