Sam Loub’s family describes him in a plethora of ways.Loub, they say, is a man who works hard, loves music, creates friends everywhere he goes and strives to bring smiles to everyone.
His dad, Russell Loub, describes him as enthusiastic, optimistic, fearless and focused. His mom, Kelly Loub, said, “Sam knows how to light up a room. You hear him laugh, you know it’s Sam. It just brings a smile to your face.”
His brother, Rusty Loub, says he’s outgoing, positive and respectful. “He loves putting smiles on people’s faces,” he said.
Sam, the second youngest of five brothers, was born and raised in Manhattan. The 28-year-old works at LABCo Market and Restaurant for his parents. Sam helps his father in the kitchen and various other aspects of the restaurant. Russell said he leans on Sam and his strong work ethic and willingness to help in any manner possible.
“He helps me make things happen,” Russell said. “I’ll say, ‘Sam, you know, take care of this for me.’ Boom, I can rest assured it’s going to be done.”
Sam has worked at the restaurant off and on for 15 years. After graduating high school, he headed west with two buddies. Sam and his friends moved to Mammoth Lakes, California, to work at Mammoth Mountain during the winter months for the ski and snowboard season. That job did not last long. With little snow and having caused a bit of mischief, Sam moved back after three months.
“I was working at a ski resort for about three months or so, and we got kicked out of employee housing,” Sam said. “We were all too broke, so we moved back to Manhattan.”
Although kicked out, Sam made many connections with the people he met in Mammoth Lakes, leading to other jobs across the country. After some time back in Manhattan, he moved to Chicago in 2016. He called his friend Tom, whom he met in Mammoth Lakes, and moved to Chicago to help him build pools.
“I just wanted to get out of Manhattan, so I hit him (Tom) up, like, ‘What’s up, dude? What are job opportunities like out there?” Sam said. “Tom said, ‘Well, I’ll fly you here.’ I said, ‘Whatever, let’s do it.’
“That was probably the worst job I ever worked.”
Sam said the biggest thing he learned about himself in Chicago is his ability to make connections with people.
“At the time, I only knew one person in Chicago,” Sam said. “The biggest thing I realized was my ability to meet people and make friends because that’s what I felt I had to do. It’s what I wanted to do to fit in with what was going on out there.”
Sam found that attending concerts helped him meet many people and make friends. Sam saw Jimmy Buffet and Lady Gaga at Wrigley Field and has seen shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, Atlanta, Detroit, San Francisco and Las Vegas, making friends in about every city.
Sam stayed in Chicago for a year and a half, then moved to San Diego, California. Before moving to San Diego, his brother Rusty noticed Sam’s growth during his time in Chicago.
“I think he was kind of looking for something that he could do,” Rusty said. “He was always trying to chase something he wanted to do, and when he came back, he had all the answers. He definitely succeeded. He learned a lot of different trade skills.”
Sam left for San Diego to learn to be a commercial plumber. He did plumbing jobs up and down California in Los Angles, Orange County, Santa Barbara, Pasadena and San Francisco.
After about a year and a half in San Diego, Sam moved home in early 2019 to help his parents at the restaurant.
Sam has a tight-knit bond with his parents and recognizes where his personality traits come from.
“I would say my mom is where I get a lot of my outgoing side from and really loving to meet people,” Sam said.
Sam said he gets his work ethic from his dad. “My dad is the most hardworking man you’ve ever met,” he said. “He has been through highs and lows plenty of times. All five of us boys put him through hell and back with who knows what.”
As Sam stays in Manhattan and helps his parents at the restaurant, he strives to put smiles on people’s faces. He does this through conversation, bringing energy to the interactions he has with people.
Sam gives two small tokens — disco ball necklaces and finger puppets — to people who are stressed or having a bad day. He said he has probably given out more than a thousand disco ball necklaces to people.
“You meet so many people around town, and I try to spread joy,” Sam said. “By handing these disco ball necklaces or giving someone a finger puppet, you know, it takes their minds off what may be stressing them out in their everyday life.”
Sam enjoys doing these small acts of kindness. He said they bring him joy and fulfillment, and his parents have recognized that.
“That’s his gig, you know, to make everybody feel a part of something,” Kelly said.
Sam also tries to spread joy through photography. He carries his camera around almost everywhere he goes, particularly during the pandemic. Sam said he takes pictures of his friends to capture the good times they are having and capturing the joyful moments that bond and strengthen their relationships.
“When something might stress you out or you’re having a bad day, just little acts of kindness can really turn that around for people,” Sam said. “That’s what I love to do.”