• 55°

Pam’s Videos turns unique mix into thriving business

“Where else can you get a dinner and movie?” Pam Samples says with pride about the business she owns and operates in Linden. But in reality, Pam’s Videos is more than a business. It has surpassed the threshold into the realm of community landmark – one of those places that — years from now — people will always remember.

It’s not because of the movies she rents out or the homemade concoctions in the kitchen she serves through her sandwich shop, or even the snowcones her employees make or the ice cream parlor. It’s her.

Pam’s character and unique way of getting to know her customers has created a place where people really do feel at home.

It is hard not to notice the building’s former life as a bank when looking at the exterior. It actually used to be the First National Bank, which was built in 1904. The original vault still comprises the heart of the building.

Once inside, though, Sanders has done what might seem a little odd. She has blended a video store with a restaurant and added a snowcone stand and ice cream parlor on top of that.

“We started out nearly 20 years ago,” said Samples. “I started with videos and then, over time, the videos took up less room and we began to add a sandwich shop.” Their more recent addition, snowcones, came about as a way to maintain a strong family atmosphere: having something special for the kids.

The daughter of longtime Linden mayor Pat Vice and Patty Vice, Samples said her parents have always been a strong influence in both her life and in the way she runs her business.

“My mother had a tremendous inner strength about her,” said Samples. “Both she and my father believed in doing things right. I’ll always remember that and have strived to carry their example with me in how I run the business and treat others.”

On the restaurant side, Pam’s is known for her chicken salad sandwiches and redneck egg rolls, a creation worth trying.

Almost all of the concoctions come from tried and true recipes that have been perfected.

“We have a large selection of sandwiches, from our famous chicken salad to tuna salad, club, barbecue, ham and cheese, chicken, rib, catfish and a lot more,” said Samples.

Pam’s also serves up specialty items like Texas toothpicks, fried mushrooms, Frito pie and mozzarella cheese sticks.

They also offer a salad bar and some of the best barbecue in the Black Belt.

Pam’s is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.