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Sam Khoury named Champion of Elko County

Sam Khoury

Sam Khoury, co-owner of Khoury's Market, sits in his office on Oct. 4. 

SPRING CREEK – Community service is a priority for Sam Khoury, owner of Khoury’s Market.

“We believe in the community because they support us,” he said, sitting in his office at the grocery store. “We love this community, the people and everything. We want to be part of it.”

A mainstay in Spring Creek since the early 1980s, Khoury’s Market has supported local schools and events as the community’s population has grown from less than 2,000 to nearly 16,000.

Khoury’s has grown with the area, expanding their original store a few times before opening a larger one, eventually adding a second one in the middle of Marina Hills Tract 100.

“We do a lot of donations. You won’t believe how much we do, not just to Spring Creek but Elko too,” Sam said.

The family has supported the Boys and Girls Club of Elko (and soon-to-be Spring Creek) and employees and their families with college scholarships to Great Basin College.

For the community, the Khourys initiated holiday events. They have hosted fireworks celebrations for Christmas and Easter egg hunts at their store. The family has also donated annually to the Lake of Fire at the Spring Creek Marina and is a frequent participant in the Freedom Festival parade.

Contributing to Spring Creek and Elko means a lot to the family, Christian Palestinians who immigrated to the United States from Bethlehem.

“Muslims don’t like us because we’re Christian, and Jews don’t like us because Palestinian. That’s why we came here, and this is our home,” Sam said. “We love this country. This is my country, and we have never looked back.”

How it all started

Forty-one years ago, Sam Khoury was looking for a business opportunity when his cousin gave him a tip.

“My cousin drove trucks from Michigan to California, and he stopped by where I lived in Los Angeles. He said there was a store for sale,” Sam remembered.

The store was Our Store, located at the corner of Fifth and Fir streets, which Sam purchased in 1980, moving to Elko in the process.

Shortly after, he was invited to a barbecue in Lamoille, and discovered another opportunity once he found that the area didn’t have a grocery store.

“That was on Sunday. Monday morning, I called Kathy Algerio Real Estate. We bought this lot and started here,” Sam said.

First called K-Market, Sam remembered the early days of picking up stock in Elko and driving it to Spring Creek, opening a small post office in the store, and offering video rentals.

“I don’t think there were 1,700 people out here at that time,” Sam said of the early days before the mining boom.

He noticed more customers as the gold mines brought in new families to the area.

In 1984, Sam said the store began to expand to offer more services for Spring Creek-area residents.

They added a gas station with a convenience store and a strip mall. Finally, they constructed a brand-new store behind it all about 11 years later.

He credited the mining boom for increasing traffic and bringing in additional customers. The growth prompted Sam to consider opening the larger store before another franchise took advantage of the opportunity.

“We didn’t stay small because somebody else will come in,” he said.

Over time, Sam’s family began to move into the area. He was followed by his brother Gus and his family two years later. “We started working as a family in the business, and this would help us working together.”

Today, the Khourys have expanded with stores in Carlin and Winnemucca and now boast four locations.

“The people are really good. I love small towns. They give us a lot of support,” Sam said.

Looking back over the years, Sam credits his family’s work ethic for their success.

“I always say hard work pays off. The family working together, me and my brother Gus, we own everything, we started the whole thing, and it’s doing well for the family because we work together,” Sam explained.

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Courts, K-12 schools & Spring Creek reporter

Staff writer for the Elko Daily Free Press

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